Students & Homesickness
My youngest daughter has just completed her A' Level exams and will hopefully be starting University life in September. Whilst an exciting time, it can also be challenging and stressful for both students and parents. There are a number of Homeopathic remedies which can help new students cope with being away from home and also parents too who may go through a variety of emotions.
Remedies to help Students
I can remember my first week as an Undergraduate student; it was a manic week of activities and entertainment as well as also spending time making new friends and getting organised for forthcoming classes.
A useful remedy at this time might be Nux Vomica which is helpful for over indulgence- so for example for all the drinking at the Student Union bar!
Lycopodium is indicated for people who appear confident on the outside but inside they lack confidence and can feel quite inadequate. Very often they experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn and belching, abdominal bloating and rumbling, they can crave sweets & symptoms are usually worse late afternoon from around 4-8pm.
Silica may be helpful for someone who is who is quite timid and shy and so they find it quite daunting to meet so many new people.
It is quite normal for many students to feel homesick, especially if it is their first time of being properly away from home. This will improve with time, however, there are many different remedies which can help those who get a bit stuck. As always with Homeopathy, the remedy must fit your characteristic symptoms. Just a few examples are below:
Ignatia- if you could have just one homeopathic remedy on hand for acute emotional stresses, it would be Ignatia. From grief to homesickness to disappointment, this remedy is indispensable for many of life's emotional stresses. Some symptoms to look out for that can indicate this remedy are: sighing and/or yawning; a sensation of a lump in the throat or stomach; mood swings or alternations e.g. tears to cheerfulness; unexpressed emotions (silent, withdrawn); paradoxical symptoms (sore throat relieved by swallowing, toothache relieved by chewing, etc.)
Capsicum: This is one of the most important remedies to consider when a person’s homesickness is accompanied by sleeplessness and red cheeks (which are cold to touch- if hot, look up the remedy Belladonna as it may fit better). The person may want to be alone. Students who need this remedy may not be able to study or work and may complain that they want to go home.
Phosphoric Acid This homesick student is really weak with grief and hopelessness. On the surface they may seem apathetic and mentally unfocused, although the longing is right under the surface. The student may speak and respond quite slowly. Their pain results in a sad kind of resignation, and they appear to be what people commonly call “depressed.” Low spirited and anxious about the future, they may lose their appetite.
Once the initial excitement of Freshers’ week has worn off there will be other challenges- e.g. time management with much less structure than school, learning to look after oneself, making new friendships and surviving on little money. For those who find it hard to get organised, get out of bed and make it to their lectures (and especially those at 9am!) in spite of good intentions and their room is very untidy then it is quite possible that the remedy Sulphur will help.
When children leave home parents can go through a number of emotions and there are a few remedies which can help. I mention Ignatiaagain because it’s the classic remedy for acute loss and grief and may help if you are feeling tearful, or have a very changeable reaction and maybe sleepless at night.
Some parents might feel quite abandoned and if also weepy then it is worth trying Pulsatilla. You might also feel a bit angry that you have been left and that your children only contact you when they want something. Staphysagria might be indicated then.
There will be parents who might also feel relieved that they have a bit more space in the house and freedom again, but don’t enjoy it too much as terms are short and some students come back home after they have finished their course because they can’t afford to live on their own just yet!