Grace Jordan, Campus Carrier arts & living editor
Homesickness is a common phenomenon for college students, especially among first year students. According to Hap.org, over 30 percent of college students experience some form of homesickness and around 70 percent of freshmen go through severe homesickness. Freshmen find themselves missing home when college is their first experience on their own. It can be hard for students to meet new people and get involved in clubs and events on campus, but as the years go by they find ways to cope and look at Berry as their home.
Freshman Savannah Lueckert lives two hours away from Berry in Union, Ga. She has been home one time this semester and during the first few weeks of her first semester at college she felt incredibly homesick. With online classes, she meets in person for class only twice a week, and the newness of college made her miss home even more.
“For the first couple of weeks while I was here, though Berry is beautiful, I did want to go home.” Lueckert said. “It’s hard making friends with everything online. I felt kind of lonely. There was more support back home.”
Lueckert’s homesickness is better compared to the beginning of the semester. She started feeling better when she started calling home and getting involved on campus.
“I think even if you video call people from back home and branching out here and getting involved with things that are going on here helps,” Lueckert said. “Because then you aren’t as focused on what’s going on back home.”
Sophomore Mason Weaver’s home is eight hours away in St. Petersburg, Fla. Weaver has gone home once for quarantine. He talks about being homesick, especially when important things are happening with his family.
“Sometimes I get very homesick when big things are happening back home.” Weaver said. “My little brother had one of the best football games of his life a few weeks ago and I was super bummed to miss it. It can just come up on me out of nowhere that I really miss my family.”
Junior, Marshall Lynch lives one hour away in Sandy Springs, Ga. First semester freshman year was Lynch’s worst semester for homesickness. He didn’t have many friends, was new to the college atmosphere and wasn’t doing well in his classes. One way he dealt with the homesickness was going home on the weekends to see his family.
“I don’t feel like I had the chance to be homesick if I consistently would go home whenever I wanted.” Lynch said.
Over his first two years of college, Lynch became friends with multiple people and stopped relying on his family as much for his support.
“Then there is a support network here,” Lynch said. “So that I don’t have to only go to the familial support network.”
Senior Hailey Nowell is from Acworth which is also one hour away from Berry. She has gone home three times this semester, which is fewer than in previous years. Nowell says that as a senior she is in a calmer part of her life. Freshmen year was hard for her because she had broken up with her boyfriend of two years and her grandmother was hospitalized. She had felt like she was caught between school and home.
“It’s hard to deal with personal stuff and get through school,” Nowell said. “That’s what made me more homesick.”
Now, Nowell is happy and well adjusted. She is surrounded by friends and has more time to focus on her studies.
“I don’t have as bad of depression anymore,” Nowell said. “I’ve realized I’m happier here. I have all my friends here. I have my job here. I have school. I can do my own thing, I have my own area and my own space.”
Many college students deal with homesickness and find it hard to navigate college. However, throughout the years, Berry feels less like a school and more like a home. Students who struggle with homesickness can make an appointment with Peer Educator or book an appointment with the Counseling Center in the Hoge building.