Home (Bitter) Sweet Home

College students returning home before a degree due to stressors

Shannon Wallace, News Writer

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The last thing a student expects when going to college is to be coming home before graduating with a degree.

Reasons for the return home include: lack of money, loneliness, homesickness and an increasing amount of stress.

According to a survey done by the UCLA’s Higher Education Institute, 69 percent of first year college students reported being extremely homesick.

H-F alumni Marianna Koonce is one who is in the 69 percent. Koonce graduated from H-F in 2016, and then attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale to continue her education for her intended degree in Journalism.

That plan was cut short when she came home after one semester due to her extreme homesickness.

“When I got to college, I immediately got homesick. I talked to my mom, grandma, and even my aunt who I didn’t talk to at family events. I was THAT homesick,” Koonce said.

Many believe that homesickness is due to how many miles/hours one is away from their home. Contrary to that belief, homesickness happens because your not physically in the house with your loved ones.

“It doesn’t matter how far away you are, you’ll still get homesick”, H-F college counselor Kevin Coy said. “When I went to school, I was only 3 hours away and I was still homesick”.  

Although homesickness is a huge contender for first place on why students come home, the emotional stress of it all also competes.

Living on one’s own, feeling the pressure of maintaining good grades, trying to develop a social life, and/ or deciding what exact career you want all ties into the continued stress that college students have in their life.

“There is so much more stress in today’s society when it comes to school”, Coy said.

A 2015 survey done by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors found that 73.1 percent of counseling center directors reported an increase in the severity of student mental health concerns and related behavior on their campuses.

Ryan Chasey is apart of that group that experiences such experiences such challenges.

Chasey graduated from H-F in the spring of 2017, and then went and started at Western Michigan University in the fall.  

After just one semester, he left and came back home due to problems emotionally and mentally.

“Problems emotionally and a general discomfort with the overall environment I was in physically were the main problems,” Chasey said.

According to the 2013 National College Health Assessment, one-third of U.S. college students had difficulty functioning in the last 12 months due to depression.

Almost half said they felt overwhelming anxiety last year.

Some believe that these mental stressors come from the fact that students are unprepared for the real world that’s experienced in college.

“Some college students cannot handle the expectations that colleges expect from them,” college counselor Brad Kain said. “This includes things like: meeting with teachers for help and applying yourself to your studies.”

College is an experience like no other, but it comes with stress.Fnal Infographic for Student Story

“Mentally, in terms of schoolwork and discipline, I think H-F did an exceptional job at preparing us. However, I think emotionally the move to college isn’t something any school anywhere can really prepare us for,” Chasey said.


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1 Comment

One Response to “Home (Bitter) Sweet Home”

  1. Elizabeth Jackson on April 5th, 2018 9:21 am

    I can relate to some not all, do embrace the moment in Boston when all of my inner soul became a whole part not a fraction of my life. – Elizabeth A.Jackson., Miss.


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