Campus connections help combat the homesick blues

Kayleigh Evans

University offers weekend activities

Jason Miller, director of Counseling and Human Development Center, defines homesickness as “wishing you were back in a more comfortable environment.”

Midterms, a heavy workload and missing family and friends could all lead to missing that comfort and contribute to homesickness, Miller said.

“Freshmen face it a lot more than other students, but for upperclassmen, it may have been ongoing since their freshman year and they are just becoming overwhelmed with it,” Miller said. “When you start getting stressed, people tend to lean on their family

for that comforting atmosphere.”

There are some things students can do to keep their minds off of going home.

“One of the best ways to meet friends on campus is by talking to people in class,” Miller said. “I remember being a freshman sitting in English 101. We were sitting along

the outside of the room and the professor was late, and finally one guy said, ‘OK, it is way too quiet in here, what is everyone’s name?’ and we all began to talk amongst ourselves. That sort of broke the ice.”

Kati Bailey, freshman early childhood education major, is from Gibsonburg in Northwest Ohio and is dealing with homesickness.

“Having no one around here, no one to talk to in an area that I am unfamiliar with, it is difficult not knowing anybody,” Bailey said. “(It) makes me homesick because I do not have that family comfort around.”

Bailey tries to find ways to stay busy, but she usually goes home every weekend. The only weekend she stayed on campus was Homecoming weekend.

“I like the campus and everything, but going home every weekend is kind of my getaway from

Kent,” Bailey said.

But going home every weekend could also promote homesickness, Miller said.

“I think students need to cut the cord at some point,” Miller said.

“Find some friends here; even if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend at home, I think you need time away. And if you are going home every weekend, you are basically living at home.”

Going home every weekend could also hinder the full “college experience,” said Leah Shaw, residence hall director for Olson and Lake halls.

“In some instances, students have to go home to work, especially in these times,” Shaw said. “But for other students, they go home

because they are not connected in yet, so they go home where their friends are at. Going home every weekend is not allowing you to give the campus a chance.”

Shaw said another good way to overcome homesickness is by taking advantage of the residence halls and campus resources.

“We typically train our resident assistants in finding out what their (students) interests are,” she said. “If a student went to an RA and said, ‘You know I’m miserable and I want to go home,’ then they could kick in and say, ‘Well, what are you interested in and what type of things do you like to do?’ and perhaps we could find a club to get you involved in.

“If you go home every weekend, you will never connect to campus because what it is like to be a college student usually kicks in on the weekends.”

Contact student life reporter Kayleigh Evans at [email protected]