Being homesick while away at school is a common experience for many students. Above 30% of students feel homesick in some way, with 69% of first-year students feeling extreme levels of homesickness. However, this year has been extra challenging with the addition of COVID-19 and limited opportunities to go home and visit family, especially for those who live far away.
Kristina Wronski, a first-year in the College of Health Sciences, is from Massachusetts and hasn’t been able to go back home or visit family since the semester began.
“Being 1,000 miles away from home takes away the ability to have short amounts of family time. I think one of the hardest parts is knowing that I don’t have the opportunity to go home for a weekend or have my family come up to Milwaukee for the day,” Wronski said.
Ana Cardenas-Manrique, a first-year in the College of Arts & Sciences, said the hardest part of the semester has been not having a spring break.
Marquette’s spring break was removed to limit students’ travel due to COVID-19. In its place Marquette has created Mental Health Days throughout the semester. The next mental health day will be May 5th.
“Most people would use this time to visit family and friends. And since we didn’t have that this year, our opportunities to meet up with people have been limited,” Cardenas-Manrique said.
Whether students have been able to see family or not, many have relied on friends to be there for them.
“During the times I felt most homesick I made even more of an effort to be with people,” Wronski said. friends from school? what sort of things does she do?
Students have been coping with the distance by finding alternative ways to still be connected to their families.
Ella Massmann, a first-year in the College of Education, said she calls her parents and sisters, even for just a few minutes, to help her when she’s feeling homesick.
“It makes me feel better to hear their voices (instead of) just texting them,” Massmann said.
Cardenas-Manrique said she FaceTimes with family and friends from home for “extended periods of time” to help when she’s homesick.
“It gives me a good break from my schoolwork, but I also want to talk to them, so it’s a win-win situation,” Cardenas said.
As the semester ends, many students are happy to see family again and head home. However, there are still plenty of reasons they’ll miss being at Marquette.
Many students have said they’ll miss the friends they have here.
“I will definitely being with my friends whenever I want,” Wronksi said.
Here there’s time to hang out between class and get together to study. At home however, there’s jobs and obligations that make it more difficult to see friends freely Wronksi, said.
Friends are not the only thing that will be missed.
“I will miss the friends that I have made, the ability to completely be myself with no inhibitions, the freedom to do what I want when I want to, and my sorority,” Massmann said.
Cardenas-Manrique said she will miss friends and the independence of having her own schedule.
Luckily, students can look forward to all these things when they return next semester, in person, after the summer.
This story was written by Karsyn Hartsfield. She can be reached at email@example.com