By Meredith Howard | Staff Writer
Dealing with homesickness when starting college can be hard for anyone, but out-of-state students have a particularly taxing distance to overcome. Students from different parts of the country each have their own personal ways to cope with being far from home.
Hudsonville, Mich., freshman Camryn Koperski said Welcome Week activities helped her to feel adjusted to her new environment after only being on campus for a few days.
“Everyone refers to it as the ‘Baylor family,’ and I think that’s actually a very accurate way to describe the feel of the campus because everyone is very welcoming and friendly, and I’ve gotten to know a lot of people so far. It’s made me feel like I’m already at home even after just the first week,” Koperski said.
Despite the fact that Koperski is over 1,000 miles away from her friends and family, she said she is keeping in touch with her loved ones through the phone.
“I think that having those conversations [with your friends] helps you reassure yourself that those [relationships] are still definitely present, that you can still stay in touch with your best friend or know what’s going on in your hometown, or how your dog is doing,” Koperski said.
Murfreesboro, Tenn., freshman Chrisln Jones was drawn to attend Baylor because of its Christian heritage. Jones said she found it important to attend a Christian school because she hopes to attend Truett Seminary after earning her bachelor’s degree in religion.
Jones combats her homesickness by calling her friends frequently because keeping close contact helps her to relate with her friends’ college experiences. Jones said her advice to freshmen is to take their troubles one day at a time.
Littleton, Colo., sophomore XiXi Brinkhuis said looking back to her freshman year, one challenge she faced moving to Texas was developing her own independence.
“It literally was one of those ‘you need to grow up’ experiences,” Brinkhuis said.
Brinkhuis said she chose to go out of state because of the instinct she had visiting Baylor.
“For [my in-state college], it would’ve been a good place to go—- I just didn’t like the environment that I was put in, so I felt most at home at Baylor,” Brinkhuis said. “I felt like leaving home was a small sacrifice to go to the right school.”
Brinkhuis said one piece of advice she would give to an out-of-state freshman is to reach out to classmates as much as possible to make friends.
Despite the difficulties that can come with moving out-of-state for college, these students speak to the fact that community and contact can help in finding one’s place in a new environment.