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​​Navigating the Warmth of Campus When Your Heart’s in Your Hometown

As campus gradually gets a little colder and the leaves begin to drift to the ground, students are learning to unwrap the gift of finding a second home when their hearts ache for the warmth of the one they left behind.

With the holidays mere weeks away, feelings of separation from home and family are only growing. According to Adelphi’s student demographics, about 26% are from out-of-state and roughly 22% are from other countries. With home being hours or even days away for some students, it’s hard not to feel a sense of isolation, especially in an unfamiliar place. So how can students combat these feelings and make the most of their holidays here at Adelphi?

Adelphi’s Center for Student and Community Engagement offers over 90 different clubs and programs. With such diversity in interests, it would be very difficult for a person not to find a club that holds similar values and ideals to their own.

Junior nursing major Emma Pappas is from San Jose, California. When she felt homesick and lonely during her freshman year, she found comfort through Adelphi’s Greek Club and made a handful of like-minded friends.

“Clubs are a great way to find people who you have similar values to,” Pappas said. “It really helps me see that there are other people of my culture that are in proximity to me.”

Most of the clubs offered at Adelphi are free and not only help students connect with relatable like-minded peers, but also help cultivate leadership and teamwork skills that will be carried for the rest of some students’ lives.

Fraternity and sorority life at Adelphi is also something worth getting involved in as a means to cope with being away from home. They are made up of 21 chapters that provide a perfect foundation for some long-lasting friendships, and also allows students to network with alumni, which can help in navigating life after college.

Kiera Noble, a junior and member of Delta Phi Epsilon, said that the various events her sorority holds help make her daily life more exciting, especially when she’s missing her family back in Vermont.

“One of the reasons I decided to join Greek Life was to get to know more people on campus and be able to see familiar places anywhere I went,” Noble said. “I’m so glad I did because I have a much busier social life now, which keeps me content when I’m missing home.”

Although it is a strong option, it is not a necessity to joining aany sort of club or program to feel less alone during the holidays may not work for everyone. As someone who dorms here and is often away from family, I found that partaking in hobbies that I always enjoyed at home is what helped me the most when navigating feelings of isolation. I’ve always been a bit more reserved, so clubs and Greek Life weren't for me. When I found myself missing the comfort of my family during the holidays, I was able to find solace in doing things that I had always liked. I re-read many old books that I brought and the consistency of continuing my old hobbies made me feel closer to home despite being far away.

If the holiday blues persist well past the holidays, Adelphi’s Student Counseling Center is a free confidential service for students who find themselves struggling with their mental health. As long as you’re enrolled in at least one credit, you are entitled to those free services.

Scott Zotto, director of the Student Counseling Center, said that simply doing something familiar can help with feelings of loneliness during the holidays, such as watching your favorite TV show or getting in touch with family and friends as often as possible.

“Anytime a student can do anything that brings them moments of comfort and joy, even if it's for 10 seconds or 10 hours, is worth indulging in,” Zotto said. “You can push back a little bit and do the things that you enjoy, which counteracts and replaces some of that sadness and that loneliness.”

Strong feelings of isolation and a lack of belonging may make it difficult to counteract that sadness alone. In that case, it might be beneficial to contact the Student Counseling Center to find solace in the empathetic ear of someone who will listen and help navigate those negative and confusing feelings.

The combination of counseling, programs and clubs that Adelphi offers to students helps to weave a supportive and welcoming community that can help bridge the emotional gap when students are missing the comfort of home during the holiday season. By being open to these new experiences, students can discover a second home where cherished memories are created and the holiday spirit thrives, helping them to truly savor the magic of their college years.

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