Find your home away from home in others


Students defend the democratic party during the University of Illinois Student Government Debate at the Courtyard Cafe on Oct. 2. A debate RSO is just one of many options for students to choose from when trying to find a home on campus.

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

Whether it’s an academic club, social club, Greek life or sports, it’s an important part of college to find something for you that’s a home away from home (especially if home is an ocean or two away).

Going to college is a good time to try to figure out what “home” means to you because for many, this is the first time you’re away from what you grew up calling home. But with feelings of homesickness and longing to go back to that home, maybe it’s time to try to find another one.

Coming to a big college from another country can be a difficult transition. It’s a time of new environments, new foods, new people, new experiences and plenty of other new things. These experiences can be overwhelming ones if you feel like you’re going through them on your own.

At the beginning of each fall semester, almost every RSO sets up a table or booth on the Main Quad to offer new students, old students and transfer students some information about clubs they can join.

I can almost guarantee there will be at least one, if not more, clubs that will be of interest to you in some way. These clubs don’t only offer you something to do or to be a part of that you are interested in. It also offers you a community of people who all enjoy the same things as you who you will see on a regular basis.

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    Joining an RSO can be one of the easiest ways to find some likeminded people you can consistently be around.

    Additionally, the University has one of the largest Greek life communities in the country. Joining a Greek life is another way to find this sense of community that can act as your home away from home during your four years on campus. This is often where people also meet their lifelong friends who go beyond just the years spent in college.

    There are a number of social fraternities and sororities as well as academic ones that can become a good community for somebody.

    However, Greek life also isn’t for everyone, and that’s OK. There’s more for you to be a part of — certainly even more opportunities than what I’ll mention in this column.

    Perhaps joining an intermural sport or club sport is the right move for you. This might be a good opportunity to join something you have always wanted to try, because why not now? Everything else is new, too.

    Whatever you decide to be a part of, you’re almost guaranteed to have a good community around you because it’s your decision to make. You will be able to find some of your closest friends at meetings or games or social events. Hopefully, these friends can create some sort of new home feeling for you, too. With them, you’ll be sad to leave during breaks and excited to return to for the start of a semester because there is no place like home.

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