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depressed while studying abroad in Rome?

Travel Forums General Talk depressed while studying abroad in Rome?

1. Posted by mgmco11 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 28 Sep '11 12:31

Hi all,

I've been in Rome for a month already, I am studying here for a semester so I'll be going home in December. This is my first time away from home in my life as I commuted in college (this is my last semester). I thought I was ready to go away for four months but a few days into living here I became extremely homesick. I expected to feel that way so I tried to deal with it. However, my homesickness and sadness is not going away. I feel like it's getting worse. I am constantly counting down the time I have left and dividing it up in different ways- 2 months and 2 weeks, 10 weeks, passing my dad's birthday and my cousin's birthday, etc. I've visited quite a lot of places in Europe for the time I've been here- I've seen all the "touristy" places Rome has to offer, I visited Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris last week during our break. I haven't really enjoyed any of it since I'm constantly thinking about my family and what's going on at home (which is nothing; I'm just imagining daily life there and how I wish I was there). I've tried keeping myself busy but I have no interests in the activities I'm doing; I'm simply doing things to pass time. Spending time with friends is also dull for me, especially since there were A LOT of problems during the week we had off and almost everyone is giving everyone else the silent treatment. I'm very tired of being here already. I started classes Monday and I find I can't even concentrate in class anymore. I've spoken to a psychiatrist at the program a couple of times and will see him again in about a month. He believes I should stay. However, the way I'm feeling is making me doubt if I can be here another 75 days. I would really like advice and/or words of encouragement from anyone who would like to give their words. I know that if I leave I will be relieved but disappointed. It's my last semester, but this pain I feel is becoming unbearable.

Thank you

-M

2. Posted by SohoRuby333 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 28 Sep '11 12:48

Hi,
I use to live in Rome as a college student as well and totally experienced similair feelings. All I can advice to you is enjoy your time in Rome. Get lost in the city & the experience. walk down a different route on your way to class. walk in a different neighborhood to study. Make friends with the locals if you can and hang out with them instead of your classmates. After a while I got bored with my classmates and made friends with locals so they will help you give a different persepective on living in Rome and don't act like a typical american student & embarrass yourself :) Your family will always be there for you and you can even have fun sending them post cards from Rome if you want. No one really gets cool post cards anymore since its easy to get online now a days so enjoy it because when your time is up in Rome you are going to miss it!!

3. Posted by sammyhez (Budding Member, 5 posts) 28 Sep '11 14:57

Really tough one. No easy answer and I wish you the best of luck with whatever you choose to do. I know the feeling to some extent, and it is horrible - you can't enjoy anything and time seems to pass so slowly.

Without knowing you personally, I'd advise that you try to stick it out. Travel can be tough, but you'll go back home at the end of the seventy-five days as a wiser, more rounded person, and you'll have the confidence to know that you can get through anything.

It sounds as though you are already doing this, but try to throw yourself in to whatever you're doing, and do as much as you can. And don't feel that you have to isolate yourself - call or email home or, as Ruby suggests, send postcards to friends and family.

From my limited experience, things do get better with time, and eventually, you'll look back at this post and wonder what you were worried about!