On Jan. 11, University of Louisiana Lafayette’s faculty and student body returned from their winter break, starting their spring semester. Many students had left for their break to go back to their hometowns.

Some students are excited to be back on campus and continue their education. They see being on campus as a break from home, even if it is stressful.

Victoria Trahan, a returning freshman majoring in music said, “I really do love campus life. It is nice to be away from home sometimes like you have your own little world away from it.”

Trahan added, “My stresses come from improving in classes and still having a stable schedule to work and do other things as well. I’m excited for the new and what it may bring and I can’t wait to see how everything turns out.”

Ray Jones, a secondary education major, said, “I’m excited to start the new semester because I was really bored. I had to stay in my dorm room a lot because I work. So I was like ‘I either go home or work so I wasn’t doing much.’ I was pretty bored.”

To others, it gives them a sense of responsibility and an opportunity to explore and grow as a person.

 “I really enjoy college because it is the first time that my life is fully in my hands, and that level of independence and maturity inspires me to put more effort into my studies. I’m in control of my schedule so I better respect my time. I’m from a boring town so Lafayette has a lot to offer me such as new experiences,” Nick Spicer, a freshman majoring in psychology, said. 

Although some people may find coming back to campus overwhelming, it also gives them a sense of accomplishment; they may get the feeling of admiration towards what they are working for and what they will become in the future.

Abba Ramsay, a performing arts major said, “I guess I’m excited because it gives me something to do, but I also get overwhelmed by the people when I come back because I’m like, oh I forget there are hundreds of people on the street when you’re trying to walk to class, but I’ll survive.”

Ramsay added, “I am happy to be doing something that is working towards a bigger thing which is nice. It makes me feel a little bit more successful.” 

Having that sense of community when returning each semester plays a major part in why students feel welcomed upon starting another semester.

Madison Bourg, a freshman majoring in business management and a member of UL Lafayette’s band said, “The Pride of Acadiana is like another family to me, and it makes me feel at home. The people I have met, some good and some bad, have made me grow as a person, with me being back at school, I feel less stressed and know what to expect.”

Returning to campus can be exciting and even shocking after such a long break. Students may share a feeling of anxiety and homesickness after coming back from a break. However, they can feel secure with the many mental health resources available to them on campus. 

Graduate assistant Morgan Christie said, “Being back on campus is always a bit to the shell shock, initially when we have the breaks. The breaks are so long, well-needed breaks though, but it’s refreshing to be back, you know, excited to be engaging with my students. Start off a semester creating the tone with whatever it is we want to create with our students for the rest of the term.” 

Christie continued, “I know a lot of my students do get homesick you know. I know that a lot of people do and it is one of the reasons why, as I was saying in class today, if you need anything come and reach out to us that is what your professors are here for. It can be a really difficult transition, you know, to have to just be away from everything that you know. And so it is about self-care and making sure you are looking after you and seeking support whenever you need it.”