How to overcome the Post-Erasmus ‘depression.’
Hi everybody, I am Margot, I am French. I decided to talk about the post Erasmus experience because it is my second Erasmus experience and I have been through it. To be honest NOTHING prepares you to this and that is why I am here! These are my tricks and tips to overcome the post-Erasmus depression.
What is it?
When you are here for a semester or the full year (lucky you!) or even for your all scholarship, there is always a moment when things have to end and either you or you friends have to go back to their home country.
You will miss UL one way or another, even the little things you use to complain about will become part of the things you miss. YOU ARE TRAPPED!
So, the post Erasmus depression is not a medical situation, like a normal depression. It is just a feeling of missing something, of being constantly sad that will follow you around for 3 to 4 months. It can be bad, really bad but thanks to me you’ll get over it faster.
Why do you have this depression?
There are many reasons why this happens.
- You got used to living by yourself or with your flatmates
- You gain independence and going back to your “non-independent life” takes time to adjust. You will stay independent but it takes time for the people around you to adjust.
- You are not with your Erasmus gang anymore.
- Sometimes your home university does not meet the UL standard. To be fair, where is better than UL? So it will take some time to adapt again to your home university. If you don’t just apply for another Erasmus or study abroad program.
- You have the traveler virus. So going back to staying at the same place for month is boring.
- Even though you resisted and resisted you happen to join the International relationship community. Love found you. I know it can be bad and if you decide to get into a long distance relationship it is going to hurt and in my own experience, when I say hurt I mean it can literally crush your heart.
What can you do about it?
Here is the most important part of this blog. Tricks and tips !
DO NOT lose track of your Erasmus/Study Abroad friends. You still have there whatsapp, text, call, video-call each other! Maybe organise study abroad reunions. Do not hesitate to contact them even if they don’t because they definitely are in the same situation as you are.
Make new friends once you are back home. I am not saying you should stop being friends with the one you had in the past, in the contrary. But it is possible that you slightly changed after spending a semester/year abroad and if your old friends accept the change well great for you, you have the best friends on the planet, if they don’t, find new friend honestly you will find some.
Get involved in the promoting of Erasmus and study abroad program in your university. Because talking about your experience over and over again makes it less painful. It is just a bit of volunteering and you will be encouraging and helping students that are in the exact same position you were not too long ago.
Join the international society/ ESN of your university! It joins both tip n°2 and 3. You may even become friends with the incoming students from UL!
Do not stop travelling. By yourself, with your family, with a travel buddy, with your International gang… Plan trips and things to look forward to.
In case of a long distance relationship, I know, it is heartbreaking and I am truly with you on this one. What I can advise is to plan as many trips to see each other as possible. Video-call each other, send letters… I know that when you come from another continent it is almost impossible and if you do survive long distance and I really hope you do (and I’ve seen it happen) congratulations, you will be one of the survivors.
Enjoy the little things. Remember all the things you’ve been missing during your time abroad? Dog, Family, Girl/Boyfriend, Friends, Food (Frenchies… I know how much you miss that fresh Baguette and proper Cheese), your bed, TV shows that are not on the Irish Netflix… Just remember how you missed it and how good it is to have these small things back.
This one is my own personal trick. It requires a bit of material and time so start doing it early.
BEFORE you leave UL, I would say 2 to 3 weeks before everybody left. Buy yourself a small notebook and some colourful pen.
Your mission for these last weeks is to go to every person you met and ask them to make a note for you in the notebook.
If you want it to be more challenging DO NOT read them messages before you are on the plane back to your country. If you do decide to challenge yourself, say it to the person writing the notes. They usually try to make it funnier so that you don’t cry in the plane.
This way every time you are sad just re read them it will make you happy for a while.
If you were faithful to International society and DJ Ber at every TGIF, you definitely noticed that most of the song are coming back every week. Remember how you hated this, well once back home you will cherish these songs because so many memories are now associated with it.
Dj Ber’s playlist is not the only songs of course, those your roommates were listening in the living room, the one playing at your birthday and pre-drinks or other occasion will by very comforting as well. My advice create a playlist with all of them or ask your friend to share theirs with you.
COME BACK !!!!
There is no better remedy than coming back during holidays, or visiting your friends here and enjoy some more time on the wonderful island you spend a very important part of your life on.
Now, that is everything I can do for you. I wish you good luck with your post-erasmus/study abroad experience. Do not forget it is only temporary…