Keeping in Contact with Friends and Family and Staying Involved

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By Devi Bridgemohan

Staff Reporter

For students living out of state, it could become quite difficult to keep in contact with friends and family.

Some students are too preoccupied with school, while others are just too far from their hometowns. So how exactly are students keeping in touch with their families and friends?

“I usually talk to them once a day,” said sophomore Shealynn Gelderman. “I’m from Long Island, NY. I visit home often because it’s easy to get back home. I try to call them as much as I can and if I’m home on the weekends, we would try to find a time to hang out.”

The student population hails from 27 states, as well as 11 foreign countries. Around 59% of all undergraduates reside in on-campus housing facilities, while 92.1% of freshmen are living on campus.

On the contrary, commuters have the benefit of living at home and staying close to their families.

However, unlike residents, they lack the immediate access to school life and events. This comes across as a disadvantage to students like sophomore Iva Barun.

“On a certain level, there is disconnection because you’re not living amongst your peers,” said Barun. “You see them in class but you don’t stick around to see them later or hang out.”

“As a commuter, it’s your responsibility to join clubs and stay active in the Sacred Heart community in order to meet new people,” said Barun. “However, I feel like many commuters don’t really join clubs because it doesn’t fit in with their schedules or it’s too late at night.”

On the other end of this issue is sophomore Leticia D’Souza, who feels there are still ample opportunities for commuters to get involved on campus.

“At first I [wasn’t very active] because it was hard getting involved in clubs,” said D’Souza. “Most of the clubs I am interested in meet around 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm. However, I have joined dance, which does meet later in the day. I also feel like Hawley Lounge is a good place for commuters to hang out and meet. I try to stay active by attending a lot of events as well.

Students that study aboard are miles away from home and face challenges of their own.

While their trips serve the purpose of providing new educational experiences, studying abroad can create even more distance between students and their families.

“I traveled to Tokyo, Japan,” said senior Akili Marshall. “I stayed in the J.F.Oberlin University dorms in Fuchinobe. I was gone for 3 months.”

Marshall took advantage of modern technology to keep in touch with family and friends from home.

“I would call them and vice versa,” said Marshall. “I would also use an app called ‘Line’ to stay in contact with my friends in Japan and in the US.”

The trip worked out in Akili’s favor, giving her a peace of mind.

“I love traveling and getting away from my family for a while,” said Marshall. “I was able to go to so many parks and go out to eat with my friends as often as I wanted.”

Marshall also expressed much eagerness to travel again for studying abroad programs.

“I would love to go somewhere in South America next, or South Korea,” said Marshall.

Sacred Heart offers over 60 study abroad programs in 30 countries around the world that support a broad range of educational, professional, and personal goals. International experiences are available to all Sacred Heart and visiting students.

Whether it’s a program for traveling to another country or an event on campus to break up the day, Sacred Heart has experience-enriching options for dormers and commuters alike.

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