It Really Is Okay to Cry

Crying is the body’s natural way of releasing emotion, stress, and feeling able to express any doubts or concerns. Some people view crying as a sign of weakness – especially for guys. However, it is a natural emotion for everyone but especially for those who are studying abroad or are international students.

Think about it. You are in a different culture – far from home. You just realized that you will spend your first holiday (be it birthday or religious holiday) away from family. There are no more Sunday family dinners at a grandparent’s house. You have to make new friends and learn how things are done differently. After your experience, you then have to go back home and re-adjust.

When you are in a new place, the urge to cry may come out of nowhere and over the smallest of things. While studying abroad for my undergraduate semester experience, I was getting over the death of a close relative. So yes, I cried a couple of times. When I started missing Mexican food – I didn’t cry, instead I let my parents know how much I missed it so they sent me a care package with Poptarts and Mexican rice and cheese cups. I cried a few times when I thought I would fail a class – as I did not fully understand the different grading system and how it would relate back to American credits. (I managed to receive a C+ in the course that I thought I was going to fail.)

So let loose when you feel the urge to be sad. Watch a favorite movie. Skype with a friend from back home. Take a nap after a good cry. Let yourself have those down moments – in order to pick yourself back up for the rest of your time abroad. Reflecting back on your experience, you will realize you miss it more than you think you will – even with the things that seemed to drag you down!