As I look out my window right now, I’m trying to remember how I looked out it a few months ago when I thought my life was falling apart. This is my second year in Ireland but this past summer was my first spent living on my own here. And it was bad. Lonely bad. The kind of bad that makes you want to move home, bad.
I lived with my best friend from school in the raddest apartment in the center of our little Irish town. Our lease began in May so we figured we’d stick it out for the summer. Slowly but surely, life began to crumble and I couldn’t really find a sunny side to my days off anymore.
My boyfriend at the time called me and dumped me out of the blue and then proceeded to stop all forms of communication, which struck me pretty hard. I could not find a job for the life of me. And when I did, it was basically slave labor tutoring and nannying a child for way below minimum wage. Going from being busy all the time to only a couple days a week really got to me. Social media became a dreaded activity as I always had to see my friends at home enjoying themselves at the beach or parties while I forced myself to walk across town to go to the gym just to distract myself from my loneliness.
I LOVE this place with my whole heart. It was extremely unlike my normal self to carry any form of resentment towards my college town. Even if its bustling streets had emptied for the summer vacation months.
So here is where this proceeds to get more uplifting.
When I look back and reflect, there were five things that helped me get through that difficult summer and mend my heart 3,000 miles from home. If you’re going through a similar time, keep these things in mind
1. My roommate became my family. She made me dinners and watched me cry and did just about everything to make me smile. Because she knows, life is hard. Living far away from home is hard. And having a close understanding friend can make a world of difference.
2. Getting out changed my perspective. Going on random trips, with friends or completely solo, helped cure me more than I realized. Find a bus, be at the station, go somewhere. I promise, new scenery helps.
3. Tackling new projects gave me focus. In order to stay busy I decided to learn to cook. I would try to master new recipes, and before I knew it, I was becoming pretty good. By simply trying to keep my mind off my bad mood, I ended up picking up a cool skill I’ll use forever.
4. Forcing myself to be social helped me make memories. Yes, I could’ve wallowed and watched the Kardashians all summer. But by doing the last thing I wanted to do— get out of bed and socialize, I ended up meeting remarkable people and having really fun nights. Put yourself out there. There are many people to meet and when one closes a chapter, he’s essentially just opening the book for someone better to come along.
5. Making time to see the people I loved, made my problems seem less sad. I was really lucky to get to travel home to see some family and friends in Boston for a couple weeks before my new academic school year began in Ireland. It was some major necessary TLC and I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity. Sometimes, You need to surround yourself with people who remind you of who you are.
Maybe its fall semester and you think your life is falling apart. Try these, they’re not an instant cure but in addition to time, they’ll benefit you.