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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


How out-of-state students cope with mental health


Caleb Fetveit hiking in the serene Tucson mountains. He uses hiking to aid in his mental health and combat homesickness. (Photo courtesy of Caleb Fetveit.)

For many out-of-state students, going to college is their first time living away from the familiarities of their hometown. It is easy to miss the favorite coffee shop on the corner, the familiar curve of the road and, most of all, the friends, family and pets that provide comfort like no other. 

Being far from home has its challenges, but these out-of-state students know how to find ways to help the homesickness and tackle mental health struggles. 

“For me, it’s the beach that I miss the most,” Ellie Roth, a junior studying pharmaceutical sciences from San Diego, California, said. 

“You live by the beach your whole life, and you’re like, oh whatever, but then you leave and miss it so much. I really just took it for granted,” Roth said. 

It’s not the same as a walk down the beach, but Roth enjoys walking down Tucson’s Fourth Avenue since it reminds her of walking down Pacific Beach in San Diego, California.

Roth spoke about finding staples that remind someone of their home, like a favorite snack or a playlist. Having these familiar things can ease the homesickness. 

Getting involved in University of Arizona campus student life activities and meeting new people is another suggestion from out-of-state students. 

“Freshman year was really rough since I didn’t know anyone, but as time went on, I made Tucson into my own little home and created my community,” Emily McGowan, a junior studying retailing and consumer science from Los Angeles, California, said. 

McGowan frequently FaceTimes her friends and family back home but doesn’t miss them as much as she used to because of all the friends she now has here. 

“I love Tucson as much as home now because of how involved I am on campus,” McGowan said.

Caleb Fetveit is a junior from Lakeside, Montana, studying environmental science. He misses his three dogs, Rocco, Nilla and Penny, and Montana nature and his family. However, he copes with these dilemmas by surrounding himself with his college community. 

“There’s nothing that can replace the place you’ve grown up your whole life, but shifting your focus from missing things that you can’t have here to the things you can do is very beneficial,” Fetveit said. “Just being with people that make me feel as comfortable as I feel at home, or even more comfortable, honestly.” 

He spends free days hiking throughout Tucson, just as he used to in Montana. 

Mental health can be a struggle, especially without being home. However, there are many ways to find the comforts of home right here at UA.

 Follow Maayan Cohen on Twitter  

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