With all the preparation meetings, stories from other students, and of course, Tik Toks, it was easier than ever to be excited about studying abroad before I even left. As part of these expectations, I was warned several times about the stressors that come about while being abroad, but it was hard to expect what the low points might feel and look like. Here are some things I found that helped me de-stress while abroad!
I found that talking to other students in my program about what I’m stressed about has probably been the most helpful tool while abroad. We are all going through this experience together and it is comforting to talk to people who are feeling the same way as me.
- Spending time outdoors
I have always been one that enjoys going on a nice walk, but I have especially found trying to spend time outdoors while abroad is helpful to my mental and physical health. It was a little more difficult to be outdoors when I first arrived in Rome given the weather, but even walking to and from class was a nice break. Now that I am in London and surrounded by over 3,000 parks, I tend to spend as much time outside as possible.
- Reminders from home
Something I have found that helps when I’m stressed is to find reminders of things that bring me comfort at home. When I’m stressed about school for example, I go to a coffee shop and set up camp there for a few hours. After drinking a few cups of coffee and knocking out my assignments, it almost feels like I’m spending my afternoon in Milliken.
- Staying in touch
Texting or calling friends and family from home is always something that can make any day better!
Studying abroad can have some stressful moments, but finding strategies like these helped me greatly!