When you go through orientation at Veritas, they talk to you a lot about homesickness, culture shock– the highs and lows. When I came to Costa Rica I was very homesick, but I learned to keep myself busy and slowly got over my homesickness.
I have been here for just 2 days short of 10 weeks. I have had MANY highs and lows in Costa Rica… I went bungee jumping, surfing, hiking, zip lining… I’ve bruised my ribs, sprained my ankle, I had to cope with the loss of a beloved family pet- days after I arrived, and deal with family issues hundreds of miles away. But with each moment I have loved Costa Rica. I want to take everything here home with me, or conversely move everything I love from home to Costa Rica.
But I’ve hit a wall.
They show you this graphic in orientation about your estimated enthusiasm levels over the timespan of your study abroad period. Towards the end there’s a dip into the negative levels, they told us we could experience a period of boredom or indifference right before a last extreme rise in love for Costa Rica. I have about 2 weeks left and I think I’m sitting in that slump now.
I know when I have days left I may cry, I may refuse to leave, but right now I couldn’t care less. It’s like having “Senior-itis” at just three months into school, and I hate it. How can someone get tired of such a beautiful place? It’s inexplicable. Maybe it’s that San José has started to feel like home, like maybe I’ve just gotten used to the place. I’ve become accustomed to my schedule and lifestyle here. Or maybe it’s just the normal culture shock!
If this happens to you, have in mind that it’s different for everyone, and that talking to your friends and loved ones can help. Veritas also has a psychologist that will talk to you whenever you need to, which I find is really helpful in this situation, and it’s a free service. Don’t panic if you feel like nothing matters anymore and you just want to leave, embrace that experience of having culture shock, it means you’re here, you’re in a very different culture, you’re growing, expanding, living!