Over the past few weeks, I’ve had several conversations with other international students about staying connected with our families. Our families do not live in Canada and staying connected with a time difference is honestly hard. It’s interesting to hear about how people keep in contact with their families. I know someone who used to call their parents every day, and has gradually reduce to once a week now. I also know someone who calls their parents once a month!
I call my parents almost twice every day. They’re 13 hours ahead from me now (due to Daylight Savings Time), so I call them when I wake up and when I go to sleep. Before I left home from university, my father made me promise to always send a “good morning” text when I wake up. It’s for safety reasons, but I find comfort doing that every day now! I also video call my parents to show my fabulous cooking (HAHA!!) and talk about how it’s been going so far when I’m eating at home alone. I usually share the funny stories that I experienced or complain about the minor things about Toronto that frustrate me. Also, I send interesting posts and goofy pictures to my younger siblings over Instagram. Sometimes, we even do a study session together.
I want to share something else that I do with my family: I ask them to give me a wake-up call. Maybe this is a bad habit, but I am enjoying asking my parents and younger sister to check in to see if I’ve woken up. I told them that if I’m not awake at a certain time, they should call me until I’m awake… sometimes to no avail.
Well, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!
I must admit that it is difficult to connect when things get busy. I still try my best to call them, even if I’m doing some work. My parents get worried when I lose contact for more than a day, so no matter what, I still send a couple of texts to the family group chat. Sometimes, we would stay on the call with no conversations: I would be doing some work and my mother would be doing some house chores.
I believe connecting with my family so frequently has helped me in coping with the transition. Homesickness is real. Very real. It can be overwhelming when you’re going through homesickness. You may not even know that you’re going through homesickness.
With exams coming up, don’t forget to stay connected with your family to take care of your well-being. You can share about the food you’ve eaten, the places you’ve been, and the work you’ve been doing!
If you’re struggling with your current experience or feelings and wish to talk to someone, you can also contact MY SSP by calling 1-844-451-9700. Take care!