We all have that friend who without fail packs up their little night bag and goes home each and every weekend. I, for one know several people like this, and though spending time with family is certainly important, I worry about what will happen to our campus if too many students follow suit.
As a freshman, I found myself drawn to the comforts of home because I felt lonely and disconnected to the campus. Ironically, I created a paradox for myself because the only way to become more integrated in the campus would be to spend more time there and get more involved in campus activities.
There are three main reasons why some students choose to go home every weekend: work, homesickness, and thinking there is nothing fun to do in Carrollton.
Some students have jobs in their hometowns that they go to on the weekends, and sometimes the need for a steady income outweighs other concerns, so students who have to work at home on weekends probably should try to make the most out of weekday options for campus participation.
Many organizations on campus offer a variety of weekly events which students can access information about through Center for Student Involvement, as well as keeping an eye out for postings across the university.
Commuter students who do not live near campus should also consider finding at least one organization to plug into. If the only thing that students get out of their time at college is a degree, then they miss out on the overall experience of college.
Another factor that sends college kids packing is a strong nostalgia for their hometowns and their families. I love my family and my life at home in Roswell and I certainly go home to see them regularly, but if I went home every weekend I would miss out on so much.
For one thing, how can anyone truly become an independent adult if they spend a third of each week letting their parents take care of them? Also, getting to know fellow students proves easier when classes are not taking up half the day. Most families would want their children to make the most of their four years at college, so students should not feel guilty for taking time for themselves.
Lastly, in a small town like Carrollton, some students wonder if they would be bored if they stay in town on weekends. The University of West Georgia has provided lots of opportunities for weekend fun for many years, most notably with its eight year old Weekends West Georgia initiative. Fall 2014, over 1,100 students swiped identification cards during the seven weekends that events took place, and Spring 2015 over 1,500 students checked into events that occurred over nine different weekends.
These numbers only include Weekends West Georgia/Stay West Weekends programs, not including Student Activities council events or Greek Life or many other numerous activities to the public.
The point is, over 2600 students last year made an effort to participate in weekend activities, and as that number grows, this interest in campus integration can only help the university become a place most college students would feel comfortable at.