Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, it doesn’t take long to recognize some of Keene State College’s trends. For example, we’ve now entered “Uggs, NorthFace, and Leggings Season.”
Well here’s a trend we’ve noticed: students go home on weekends. Every weekend, each of us has at least two friends who pack up camp Thursday night or Friday morning. Most KSC students live in New England, so the drive is not a stretch. There seems to always be one weekend a month where everyone goes home. But shouldn’t KSC be our home now?
It’s easy to say the majority of students who head home on weekends are freshmen. When we were freshmen, we jumped at the chance to go home for a few days. When college is new and home still feels so good, it’s understandable. But it’s important once you enter college to establish yourself in the new surroundings; otherwise, you’ll never be satisfied.
Jana Jacobson, director of Residential Life and Housing Services, said she’s seen the “homesick” trend with students every year.
“I do not think this trend is increasing; however, there is an interesting factor that changes things,” she said. “The internet, specifically Facebook, Skype, and Facetime allow students to be more connected with their families and friends than ever before.”
Jacobson explained this online connection may help some students with their homesickness, but for others Jacobson said this connection could be unhealthy.
“For some students, seeing what they are ‘missing’ at home might make it worse,” Jacobson said.
Moving your “home space” can be stressful and unhealthy physically and emotionally. It’s best to establish a home base once you arrive at college to avoid the emotional toll it can take when you pick up your life and move it elsewhere. So how can students find a way to make KSC their home and lessen the desire to leave every weekend? Simple answer: get involved.
Liz Behr, a KSC resident assistant, said it is best to face the homesickness head on by finding something to be apart of.
She pointed out, “Getting involved on campus is a great way to meet people, have amazing experiences, and just have some fun during a stressful time in life.”
Behr continued, “The opportunities for students at Keene State come from a diverse student culture and there are things for everyone to enjoy here.”
There are over 80 clubs and organizations on campus. Many of these clubs plan activities for the weekend, like the Outing Club, which often takes hikes and trips Friday through Sunday.
Jacobson agreed involvement is the cure to homesickness.
“Ultimately, getting involved is the most important thing students can do,” she said, “KSC is your home, and it has to feel like it. Faces need to be familiar, places need to feel comfortable, and people need to be expecting you or anticipating your presence. That takes some time, and it is difficult to be patient. However, the sooner a student gets involved with something that is meaningful to them, the better.”
So next time you’re ready to call your parents to tell them you’re ready to go home, reconsider your options.
Find something on campus that sparks your interest and establish your life at KSC.
Trust us, you will find something to keep you happy and busy here, you’ve just got to be willing to look for it.
Keep calm and carry on, Keene State.
Julie Conlon and Kim Borkowski can be contacted at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org