Guest Columnist

Many students on Eastern’s campus go home every weekend for various reasons, such as homesickness, work, friends or because everyone else visits home for the weekend.

Getting the opportunity to visit family, getting some laundry done and enjoying some home-cooked meals are not bad things. It may be exactly what you need for the weekend. Some students have to regenerate themselves with family and familiar surroundings.

Homesickness and unhappiness at college is usual in the first few weeks of a semester. Some students have more difficulty adjusting than what they had anticipated. Despite this, departing for home every weekend is not the best solution.

Every new weekend there are fewer students on campus, sometimes to the point where it appears to be deserted. Most of the restaurants on campus are not open after Friday or close up early because of the low amount of students. 

Students who go home every weekend need to reconsider what they are depriving themselves of by leaving campus. It shouldn’t be a regular routine. Staying on campus and getting involved is the best way to go. Becoming acquainted to new dorms, rules and people will transpire quicker.

Jace Bastin, 18, an applied engineering management freshman from Buffalo, N.Y., said local students needs to suck it up and stop running away from campus when their classes are canceled or when the weekend comes along.

“I’m not capable of visiting home every weekend or once a month. The only time I’m able to go home is Thanksgiving and Christmas break. I have no complaints whatsoever. This is a great experience for me,” Bastin said.

Weekends are opportunities when students can connect with each other outside of the classroom.  They should attend on-campus or off-campus events held by clubs and organizations. Weekends are an important for feeling engaged and part of the college community. Students who remain on campus on the weekends are often more involved with their university.

Cornelia Curtis, 20, a fine arts junior from Fords Branch, said she’s only two and a half hours away from home and used to pay visits every weekend her freshman and sophomore years.

“I started to stay on campus when my friends would tell me about interesting events that will occur over the weekend and places that I could volunteer at concerning my major,” Curtis Said. “I noticed I was missing out on opportunities that would’ve benefited me as a student.”

There are still students who say that their hometowns have more entertainment to offer than Eastern and Richmond.

Fernand Terry, 22, a technical education senior from Columbus, Ohio, said that even though he lives three hours away, it is his responsibility to go home every weekend. He also says Richmond is dry and unexciting with nothing to get into.

“I gave staying a weekend on campus a try but it didn’t turn out well,” Terry said. “I felt so depressed. Half of the campus leaves, including my friends. I felt lonely.”

There are various reasons to go home on the weekends, but just as many to stay on campus and enjoy college life. Next time you plan on heading home for the weekend, think for a moment about what you’re missing out on. The college experience doesn’t last long, so don’t waste it.