By Da’Chelle Burnett

D’acia Brooks, 20, knew she wanted to study speech pathology and American sign language two years ago when she first enrolled at Western Michigan University, but she didn’t know she’d feel so not-at-home.

Brooks thought about leaving the University when realized she didn’t feel the same genuine love she feels back in Farmington Hills, Mich. The love and friendship that kept her happy at home, was not present in Kalamazoo. Besides the delay of friends, Brooks also had a difficult time adapting to a larger city.

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While some students feel right at home during their first year, Brooks did not; she wasn’t enthused about leaving her friends back at home, and trying to make new ones. From struggling with finding new friends, adapting to a college campus and having transportation issues, Brooks did not enjoy her first year at the university. She thought of leaving several times.

According to an article in the Journal of College Student Development, students look for sense of community on campus, including emotional connection, in order to feel belonging and stay in school. This was true for Brooks. Once she joined a multicultural sorority, she felt a connection between her and the other members of her sorority, including similarities in interests and culture.

After Brooks began making new friends, and started exploring Kalamazoo, she started becoming happier. Now, she has joined a sorority and hangs out with friends often. Brooks doesn’t think that the university was responsible for her unhappiness; things improved once she became more involved and changed her daily activities.

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