Going to College in Your Backyard

Clifton-Park-.jpgFor this blog I decided that I would switch it up a bit and talk about another student. I wanted to interview someone that lives relatively close to UAlbany and comes from a different background than me. I interviewed my girlfriend who is from Clifton Park, NY which is very different from Long Island in my opinion. Like myself, she is a freshman on the track team, so our schedules are both very busy as we try to balance academics and athletics. I wanted to talk about the topics I have discussed in the past, but from the perspective of another student on campus. My goal of this blog is to reach out to many students so adding new perspectives will hopefully allow me to reach a broader spectrum of students.

barbecue-933002_960_720My first question for her was, “Do you like that you go to a school that is is close to home? Do you wish that you went to a school that is further away?” This is something that she constantly thinks about while being at school. She feels like there are good and bad things about being so close to home. She loved the fact that it was so convenient to go home. Since she lives so close, she can pretty much go home any weekend she wants to see her mom and her sister. This has been especially nice since her family has always been so important to her. She adds in, “Its been nice being able to go home and get a home cooked meal every once in a while.” Having the comfort of home being only twenty minutes up the road has been nice, but she also feels like going to a school further away would’ve been nice too. She said, “Sometimes I feel like I would be a little more independent if I were further away [from home].” Sure it is nice for her to be able to have her mom nearby for anything that she needs, but there are sometimes that she wishes that she could be more independent with some things. And of course, a “little change of scenery” would’ve been nice for her too.

I went on to ask her about the distance from home when choosing which college she wanted to attend. I wanted to know if she only wanted to go to schools close to home or if she considered other schools further away. I know that some students, like myself, have it in their heads when they’re applying to colleges that they would never go to a school close to home. I also know some students, like some of my friends, that would never go to a school that was far away from home. When asked about it, she said that when she was a senior in high school, she had the mentality that there was no way that she would ever go to a college that was close to home. As time went on at UAlbany, she came to realize that it was a “blessing in disguise.”

Coming to college, even though she is so close to home, has been hard at certain times for her. Family has always been so important to her, and being away from home has been hard on her. Her sister is now 13, and she has always been around, watching her as she grows up. She said, “I feel like I am missing my sister grow up.” This is the thing that she misses the most from home. She just wants to be there to see her little sister grow up and be by
her side. Coming to college, many freshmen find themselves missing things from home. For me and her, our family were both really big pillow-706176_960_720.jpgthings that we missed the most. They were always my biggest support group, and they were always there for me through all of the good and bad times. One other thing that she said she missed from home was having a room all to her self. She said, “Don’t get me wrong, it is fun having a roommate but sometimes I wish I could just be in my room all by myself relaxing and not having to worry about being a nuisance to anyone.”

Lastly, I asked her about how well her high school experience helped her prepare for college, and how well she has been able to manage her time in college. In high school, she said that she “didn’t really have to study to get good grades.” Her schedule didn’t challenge her as much as college has. College was a “wakeup call” for her. Finding good study habits was something that was hard at first but something that is a bit easier now that she has had some practice with it. To her, time management has been one of the biggest struggles at school. She feels like she has been able to manage well but not exceptionally. Like myself and other people that I know, she struggles with procrastination. She has found herself many times throughout the fall semester waiting until the last minute to get assignments done and she dealt with the consequences.

We are both going through things that I find many freshmen on campus experiencing in their first year, like missing their family. From talking to other students, I have noticed that family is the most common thing that they miss the most from home. They have different reasons for missing them, but I am finding that it is affecting students in similar ways. Meeting new people and creating new relationships has helped me cope with missing my family. My new friends have become my family away from home and I am so thankful for them. Missing family could really affect one’s college experience in a negative way and I am trying to avoid that. There have been many times when her and I felt like we were alone and that no one else was experiencing the things that we were, but we  found that we were wrong. Seeing that we weren’t alone has helped us and has brought us closer to the people in our lives. So if you are feeling alone and missing home, just know that there might be students out there that feel the same way.


About the Author

Joe DJoe D.
Class of 2019
Major: Intended - Business Administration
Blog Theme: Where I'm Coming From

Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.

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