I'm going back for Christmas, but am I?_International Student Blogger, Annalucia Bellisario_title image_Christmas tree in London alley

As a first-year student, this is my first time going back home for Christmas, and – I’m not ashamed to admit it – it has been a proper emotional rollercoaster.

Two weeks before the departure

Definitely excited to go back home, I couldn’t wait to see my family and friends. I was literally counting the days and I missed home so much that I was almost tired of London.

One week before the departure

I started struggling in understanding my feelings. Excited to go back or sad to leave?

5 days before the departure

While procrastinating in many different ways instead of packing, I realised I would miss my new life more than I thought I would when I first arrived.

3 days before the departure

Despite Covid restrictions, London looks terrific. Is it rude to my family if I’m sad about going back home?

1 day before the departure

What even is home? At this point, I had the answer to the question that has been echoing in my head for a while: home is not the place you were born in or where you have lived the longest. Not even the place where you go to calm down when you feel overwhelmed. It is that feeling you get when you are surrounded by the right people, those who make you feel like you belong, no matter where you are.

More than not being able to feel at home once I moved, the fear I have always felt is having more than a place to call home. Turns out I was right. From now on I will always be split in two every time I will catch a plane. And while some people may feel excited about feeling so at ease in different places, some others may feel overwhelmed and like they don’t belong anywhere.

They say that home is where your heart is… Then – as the ambivert that I am – I must have two hearts. One is in London – extrovert, eager for adventures, fast-paced. The other one is in my small town in Italy – introverted, relaxed, nature-lover, wallowing in its comfort zone. Right now they don’t get along, but I hope one day they will make peace.

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