Although the class of Spring 2020 did not get the full JSB experience and had our time cut short due to the coronavirus, feeling down after coming home from the program is applicable to all study abroad students. Let’s call it the “post-abroad blues.”
Instead of dwelling on all of the fact that we are now home and bored rather than off travelling the world, we have to focus on all of the positives. There are a few things that a student in this situation can do to brighten their spirits and I have listed them here.
Reminisce on the good.
It is healthy to want to remember all the incredible adventures abroad! I remind myself to focus on all the good that happened and allowing myself to be grateful for those experiences that I had. Another option would be to share stories with family members, create a photo album, or edit a fun video. Find something to capture those moments that you’ll hold on to for a lifetime.
This might sound obvious to a lot of people but arriving back home after spending a lot of time traveling is quite an adjustment. Whether it be adapting to the time zone, the food, or a new schedule, it might be challenging to get back into a rhythm is abnormal. Proper self-care is extremely important during this time. Avoid falling into a slump of sleeping until noon, showering once a week, and living off McDonald’s. Being back home should free up time to get back to a normal life routine, even if it takes a little while to do so. Stay hydrated, active, and healthy!
Whether it be schoolwork, re-finding an old passion, or creating a new hobby, staying busy will be a lifesaver right now. This will allow the mind to be focused on the task at hand, so you are not letting yourself dwell. Personally, this was very helpful for me. Considering our particular situation and being in quarantine, it can be easier sometimes to just be sad which is not good at all. I have started new crafts and painting, which I have found really useful to keep busy when I start to feel this way.
Stay in touch with your friends and staff from JSB.
This one is super important. Stay in touch with everyone from JSB!! These people you lived in close quarters with became family for the past several weeks. Considering that I am no longer living in Italy (which feels like a loss of its own right now), I don’t want to feel like everything from my time abroad is over. Making amazing friends on this program will help in the adjustment back in the U.S. because there is a whole group of people going through the same thing and you have a supportive group of people to lean on.
This is a photo of me and my friends traveling to London for the weekend. I’m missing my JSB girls a lot, but it makes me happy to reminisce on all of our adventures.