Senior Anna Volkman, 21, a dance major, thought about leaving school multiple times during college.
The two most serious instances were in her first and second years at Western Michigan University. The first year, Volkman wanted to leave school was because she was homesick. Volkman came from a very close dance family at home and when she came to college and didn’t know anyone she felt out of place.
“I knew I needed to be here, I just didn’t want to be here.” Volkman says. The year after that was because Volkman tore her ACL and almost ended her dance career. After a long recovery, Volkman decided to stay and was happy she did.
Volkman started getting involved in organizations on campus which helped her step out of her comfort zone and helped her find her purpose. “Forcing myself to take on these leadership roles has helped me feel like I have a purpose here,” Volkman said.
It is very common in college freshman to feel homesick, according to a study done by the UCLA Higher Education Institute, 69 percent of first year college students reported being homesick. 35 percent of those students end up leaving after their first year. The primary reason students left school was because they didn’t feel like they had a sense of belonging.
According to a study done by California State University, student club leaders found that when students belong to an organization on campus they have a 33 percent higher chance of graduating than those who don’t belong to an organization.