Family ties

If transitioning to college was stressful, you are not alone

Graphic by: Sarah Massey | Production Assistant

According to a 2016 survey on first year college students, 35.9 percent of college freshman maintained daily contact with their families while 19.7 percent of students returned home frequently throughout their first year.

Ferris pre-dental hygiene freshman Mackenzie Williams was part of the 19.7 percent who returned home during their first semester.

“At the beginning of the year I didn’t want to be here at all,” Williams said. “I did not adjust until spring semester started.”

Raised in nearby Newaygo, Williams could travel home almost every Wednesday and weekend during her first semester at Ferris.

Although Williams found a way to better transition into her spring semester, her fall semester was rocky.

Being the youngest in her family, Williams watched her older siblings attend Central Michigan University. The stress of her older brother and sister teasing her for choosing a different educational path, as well as not having anyone to answer her questions about Ferris, Williams was left feeling guilty for her decision.

While Williams elected to go home weekly, Ferris forensic biology freshman Emily Kemp chose differently.

Hailing from Trenton, Kemp chose not to go home during her college experience unless it was for breaks.

Kemp only has one younger brother; however, being raised by a teacher and a principal she felt the stress of family obligation.

“There’s definitely a lot of stress with being perfect,” Kemp said. “I always had to get good grades and stay active.”

Although the 2016 college survey said that 50.4 percent of students felt their family responsibilities interfered with their schooling, Ferris nursing freshman Sean Dalton said he has had an easy transition to college.

“School has been going well for me so far,” Dalton said. “It’s always stressful for me, knowing that I’m the first child to go away to college, but I try and not think about it and just focus on my academics.”

Being the oldest of his three siblings, Dalton said, is stressful for him. The atmosphere of dorm life, as well as a supportive family outweighed the stress Dalton originally had.

“I think my family does affect my schooling but in a good way,” Dalton said. “My parents are always eager to help me with studying or miscellaneous homework assignments. They also give me positive reinforcement, building my self-esteem towards college.”