Written by Terry McMillan, Global Ambassador and Masters in International Marketing student Class of 2018.
I’ve been living and studying in Boston now for about 2 months. During that short period of time, I experienced so many feelings and emotions. So, what does it feel like to adjust to a new environment in foreign territory?
It seemed like everyone had already met their long-life friends and I was just sitting at home, too shy and nervous to meet up with people.
As human beings living in a realistic world, it’s important not to romanticize everything. Yes, it can add a bit of magic to life, but I think it’s essential to find a balance. When I got accepted to Hult, I created a vision within my mind of how life would be. That I would make great new lifelong friends before stepping foot on campus, have a busy social life and participate in everything I could at Hult. I placed so much pressure on myself to be living a different life from the one I was living before moving to Boston.
I spent a lot of my free time when I first arrived on every social media platform I could find involving Hult. I wanted to know everyone and everything that was going on. The thing about social media, is that it’s a great way to connect with the rest of the world. It lets us show the world what we’re doing within our lives (mostly positive stuff). That’s great, but being consumed by others’ personal lives can sometimes make yours feel…empty.
So there I was, during my first weeks in Boston, on my own, trying to live up to this “social life” pressure that I’d placed on myself while seeing everything that everyone else was doing on social media. It seemed like everyone had already met their long-life friends and I was just sitting at home, feeling shy and nervous to meet up with people. It left me feeling a bit overwhelmed which probably opened the floodgates to my next feelings.
And then I realized, I was homesick because I was allowing myself to feel that way.
Yes, I was homesick. I didn’t think that was quite possible seeing how I’m only 7 hours away from home and I’ve lived away from home before with roommates. This feeling of homesickness to me felt more like a kind of frustration, and I was envious of what I could be doing if I were back home; like hanging out with friends or just being in my own space. And of course, the fact that I was unable to physically see my family didn’t help either.
But, what right did I have to feel homesick? I was so lucky. I was in my first apartment, on my own, and attending a school that I really enjoyed. Why was I feeling like this? When I traveled abroad without my parents, I never once felt homesick. I didn’t even call them. And then I realized, I was homesick because I was allowing myself to feel that way. The constant sitting at home, calling my parents too much, continuously checking social media and being reminded of what everyone else was doing was making me homesick. I knew that I had to get out of this state of mind and make an effort.
Being comfortable means no growth.
When you get older, you become more self-aware. You find out things about yourself and you try to understand them and maybe even try to change them. Something I’ve learned about myself is that I can sometimes be too self-aware. This sometimes hinders me from doing things completely on my own. So, trying to break that feeling of being homesick by going out on my own was challenging. However, as time passed, I ventured out more and more. A lot of which was initially uncomfortable, but I began to feel so much better. The homesickness started to fade… Being comfortable means no growth.
My Hult journey hasn’t gone the way I imagined it would back in December, but sometimes life just doesn’t work that way.
Finally, within these last two months, I’ve already learned so much about Hult and myself. I’ve joined clubs, aced presentations, stepped out of my comfort zone, and made connections with people from different parts of the world. So far, my Hult journey hasn’t gone the way I imagined it would back in December, but sometimes life just doesn’t work that way. I wouldn’t change the feelings I first felt when I arrived here, because it pushed me to learn more about myself. Now reflecting, what I’m left feeling is excitement, about the positive things to come and the challenges I’ll face and overcome.
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Terry McMillan is an MIM student at the Hult Boston Campus. She is from Washington, D.C. and has worked for several government agencies within the Washington, D.C. area. She loves design and traveling and previously lived in Okinawa, Japan. Follow Terry’s Hult journey on her blog.