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The basics
Study abroad : Once you arrive

What to do if you feel you’re growing apart from people back home

With university bringing with it so many changes, it’s completely natural to feel that you no longer feel connected to your family and friends back home. We look at the different ways to deal with this and how it may help you.

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The time of their lives that most students go to university, is also a time when you are changing quite a bit. 


As you start to meet new people, experience new things and slowly understand more about the person you are and want to be, it’s only natural that you would start to feel that you’re drifting away from the people in your life back home. 


This is completely normal and it’s entirely up to you how you deal with it. Depending on how you feel about this situation, there are a few different ways to approach it and each may benefit you. You may be really missing someone and want to get back in contact or find that you don’t miss a friend that much and are okay with growing apart. 


Here are 3 things you can do when you feel this way.


1. Accept it and don’t feel guilty 


While this might be difficult, it could be the right option for you in the long run. You may realise that you didn’t want to stay in touch with those people as much as you thought and therefore it’s just a matter of accepting this and moving on. 


When we grow up and live in the same place, we make friends and build relationships that are very much based on geographical convenience. While this is certainly not the case for all the people in your life back home, it’s likely that there are one or two people who fit into this category. 


In this circumstance, it’s important to measure whether or not your feelings of growing apart are causing you discomfort. If you are okay with this feeling, it may be a sign that you weren’t that close in the first place and therefore could just be a part of moving on in life. 


It’s sometimes hard to imagine but most people have as equally complex and full lives as you do. If you are feeling that it’s time to drift apart from a certain person, it’s most likely that they feel the same way.  


Accepting that it’s okay to drift apart from some people is a big part of moving out, especially if you’re moving to another country.This is certainly not something to feel guilty about. 


2. Get in contact and make plans 


For those relationships that you really want to keep, reaching out and making plans to look forward to when you can next see each other is often all you need.  


Thanks to the world we live in today, we can speak to anyone almost as if they are right there in the room, and therefore we can contact those we miss relatively easily. 


It may be difficult to make plans if you now live far away, but it’s great to let those people know you are still thinking of them and are looking forward to when you can see them again. Let them know when you’re next home and that you’d love to catch up in person when that time comes. Often having these plans in place is all you need to keep communication lines open and really stops you feeling that you’re no longer in touch with them. 


Meeting friends after a long time away can be great, as you have so much to catch up on from the time you’ve been apart. However, sometimes travelling home isn’t always possible, find out more about how to deal with this. 


3. Bring your home life into your student life 


Often, at university, it’s not so much that you are missing a specific person or group but more that you are missing home and the people that fill it in general.  


Humans are naturally social and it’s likely that a lot of the traditions and routines you had back at home involved the people you loved in some way. While it’s no replacement for the actual thing, bringing parts of your home life into your university world can really help you feel like you’re still involved with the people back home.  


Perhaps you’re missing a big cultural celebration from your home country, why not celebrate where you are and teach your university friends more about how you do things where you’re from? No matter what it may be, bringing parts of your home life into your university experience not only helps you settle in but can certainly help those feelings of growing apart from the ones you love. 


University can be a great experience but it’s often over before you know it and, if you’re not planning on staying in your new country, you will be back home in no time.  


While you should enjoy everything university has to offer and the new relationships you have built, there is still space in your life for those important people back home. 

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