While many students are nervous about their first time away from home, Ferris pre-nursing freshman Jess Smith is thankful she was plugged into the community due to events hosted by her Resident Advisors.
“I was lonely my first week of college, which made me miss my family a lot. I started going to the events that my dorm put on, and through those, I met some of the people that I am close to now. I try to approach and talk to people as much as I can,” Smith said.
According to the Washington Post, about 58 percent of high school graduates go to college within 100 miles of home. However, many students struggle with the transition of being away at college.
The more students get involved in their community, the more they will realize other people are going through the same things they are.
Many Bulldogs traveled several hours to come to Ferris, leaving their family and friends behind in their hometowns. With the help of technology, students can call, text and FaceTime their families when they’re in need of some extra love.
“Students could also have their family visit them. That way, they would bring a little bit of ‘home’ with them,” Ferris hospitality junior Becky Pioch said.
Though there are ways for students to keep in touch with their loved ones, Ferris Birkam Health Counselor Mark VanLent encounters students with homesickness often.
“Close contact with family is important for mental health. Students should be calling their parents or sibling often. I am a big advocate of this,” VanLent said.
While getting involved and making new friends is crucial for a student’s growth, it is important for students to look after their mental health, as well.
“It’s important for students to get involved. Students go through a phase of being infatuated with this new place and excited to be on their own, but most students have never been on their own before. It’s a lot of pressure for a student,” VanLent said.
If you are struggling with homesickness, contact the Birkam Health Counseling Center at (231) 591-5968.