This one goes out to all of my fellow uni students out there.

No matter how far you’ve traveled to receive further education, unless you’ve decided to stay local, you’re bound to get homesick.

If you’re lucky enough, you’d be flying home to your family in your hometown for the holidays. If you’re me, on the other hand, it would cost you £600 for a one way flight back to your home in sunny California, and because your parents moved to good ol’ New York right after your high school graduation, you don’t get to actually spend the holidays in your hometown. Next thing you know, you’re blasting “Save me San Francisco” in your room while cramming an entire Pop Tart in your mouth (mom, I don’t know this from personal experience, stop worrying about me) and going on a virtual stroll around SF and Dublin via Google Earth, and… you know what, I’ll stop right here, you get the point.

No matter how sick you were of your high school after 4 excruciating yet exciting years, it’s normal to get homesick and that’s why I’m here to help you through it. Because, you know, I OBVIOUSLY have everything together, as you can see. Just for the next 5 minutes, ignore the fact that I’m probably the least qualified person to give you emotional advice and hear me out.

1. Don’t ever just sit in your room

This will never do you any good. Trust me. Get off your weepy ass, go out and get some fresh air, and do something. In situations like these, it’s healthy to distract yourself. Go sit down at the local coffee shop, go shopping in the city center, jog, take a walk, go out and discover your new home. If you just sit inside your room you’ll get more nostalgic about your high school years – which, let me remind you, you definitely did not like – so for God’s sake keep yourself busy man!

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2. Say yes

Did I tell you guys that I joined the horse riding society? Do I have any experience? Nope. Are horses my favorite animal? Sorry, that position’s been taken by King Charles Spaniels. You know why I joined? Because I have a lot of free time on my hands, that’s why. And if I want to learn how to ride a damn horse after my lectures and pretend I’m a posh, sophisticated lady from the English countryside for a couple hours, You bet your ass that I’ll do exactly that. Besides the horse riding society, I decided to join the school radio, TV station and newspaper, and I’ve honestly met the most amazing people. Say yes. Try something new. What’s the worst that can happen? Actually let me rephrase that… as long as it’s safe, and will not damage your health or career, give it a go. But, for example, if your flatmate dares you to down a liter of vodka, don’t say yes, it ain’t fun, trust me.

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3. Tea

If I learned anything so far from my time in this country, it’s that a good cuppa can fix any problem. So go on sista friend, drop that 3rd bottle of chardonnay and make yourself a cup of tea.

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4. Yoga

Ready for a shocking fact? Around last time this year, I was a yoga-obsessed zen master. I’m talking super flexible and super athletic; I wore yoga pants to school nearly every day and went to at least two 1.5 hour yoga classes a day. Who knew I’d turn back into a Netflix loving couch potato in such a short period of time? I quit yoga when my family moved to New York, but I discovered this in my period of zen enlightenment – yoga can make you feel so much better. I was in probably the lowest point in my life when i first started and after the first few classes I was better than ever – I’m talking no anxiety attacks for like 12 months straight for the first time ever. Forget about gym memberships, go sign up at a decent yoga studio instead.

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5. Let yourself be sad

If I told you to be strong and keep it together 24/7 I’d be the biggest hypocrite ever. The truth is, if I had a dollar for every time my flatmates walked in on me sobbing into my bottle of wine while singing along to “Save Me San Francisco” & skyping my best friend, all at the same time, I’d probably have paid off my tuition by now. You can’t have it all together all the time. Hey, we’re only human, right? Sure your flatmates may be pretty damn great, but you will never stop missing your friends back home. Let yourself be sad; watch the entire Star Wars trilogy AND the prequels then watch all of the Harry Potter movies in order and have a good cry. You’ll feel completely refreshed in the morning.

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Dear internet friends & friends back in California,

I miss my home and I always will. I’ll miss sitting across from my best friend at our usual spot at our usual Starbucks, giggling for hours about things that barely make sense. I’ll miss going to the gym with her then somehow, mysteriously, ending up at McDonald’s with 4 orders of large fries. I’ll miss going to the beach after finals in the winter and lazying up in the sand because California never gets cold. I’ll miss my high school, probably not the homework and juvenile drama, but everything else about it. I’ll miss going to the movies at Hacienda then lying underneath the palm trees and admiring the stars after the sun has set. I’ll miss the church I grew up going to and everyone there. I’ll miss San Francisco and all of its hidden gems. I’ll miss my crazy friends, the ones who helped me through the darkest times when I nearly gave up on everything.

California, I’ll be back soon, just hang in there and don’t let the drought get to ya! And, for all of my DHS students, staff, and alumni out there, STAY FLY DUBLIN HIGH!

See you guys in summer of 2017.

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