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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

Making friends can ease feelings of homesickness

For freshman Meghan Goldick, adjusting to college life has been bittersweet.

“I’m relieved to be on my own, but I’m sad because I don’t get to see much of [my family] anymore,” Goldick said.

A challenge freshmen could face when living in college is homesickness, which could hurt their experience.

To cope with her transition, Goldick has turned to new friends she made through opening weekend icebreakers and class.

“I have new friends so it’s hard to miss people yet, and I have been busy,” Goldick said.

Icebreakers hosted by the Office of Residence Life are key to keeping students at the University, said Abby Priehs, assistant director of Residence Life.

“We focus on socialization programs in the first six weeks to get to know the people around you, like movie nights and study sessions,” Priehs said.

It is in the first six weeks that new students determine whether to stay in college, which is why there is a heavier emphasis on socialization, she said.

“Many students can recall the programs they attended freshman year … and made friends,” Priehs said. “It has a profound effect.”

Goldick said programs hosted by the residence halls have greatly helped her make friends.

“There were a lot of icebreakers [opening weekend],” Goldick said. “After you got to know people, it stuck.”

After her first week in college, Goldick said she made about 10 new friends.

“I am a very bubbly person so I haven’t had many social hardships,” she said.

Priehs said attitudes like Goldick’s make the transition smoother.

While adjusting to college has been easy for Goldick, there are some things from home she misses.

“I miss home cooking and family bonding,” she said.

Students can, however, help bring elements of their homes to college to make it better.

The Counseling Center suggests students place photos of home around their room to make it more comfortable.

Doing this can “strike up a balance between focusing on the new and the old in your life,” said Craig Vickio, clinical psychologist at the Counselling Center, in an email. “Pictures that you associate with home may at first be painful reminders of what you feel you’ve left behind. However, with time, they can provide a sense of continuity and serve to remind you of how you retain certain important parts of your life.”

While Goldick said she has photos from home posted around her room, she is barely in her room.

Friends keep your mind off of it, she said.

Another tip Vickio has for students is to give themselves time to adjust to their new surroundings.

“I know that, many years ago, my initial reactions to college were not positive, yet my overall college experience ended up being extremely rewarding,” Vickio said.

Though there are times Goldick misses home, she said her college experience so far has been great.

“It wasn’t hard being away from home,” she said. “I don’t have to go to bed at a certain time and I’ve had funnel cake for dinner.”

For students having a harder time adjusting to college life, Vickio said students can contact the Counseling Center at 419-372-2081.

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