Freshmen speak on overcoming homesickness and anxiety at new college 


As the first week of university ends, ex-high school students are adjusting to their new life as college students and are starting to face the stresses that come with it. Freshmen might feel overwhelmed with classes, or uncomfortable in the tiny space of their dormitory, an essential part of the freshman experience.  

Becoming a student is not easy. Everybody starts college with doubts, fears and stress. However, the excitement and that addictive feeling of freedom takes over, making students eager to wander around and make new friends.  

No two college experiences are the same. Sometimes, students are not excited at all to begin their freshman year.  

“MY big goal was to make good friends and organize my time. By Now, i have done that.”

Kaya Doshi

That was the case of Kaya Doshi, a student who just entered her junior year. Her first year at the University of Connecticut, Doshi had a hard time adjusting from high school. She grew up in Connecticut, and was not excited about coming to Storrs because the campus was huge and in the middle of nowhere.  

Despite a bad first year, Doshi made good friends. College pushed her to do things she would not normally do. She joined some clubs and played soccer and basketball with the intramural team. 

“I definitely have a better time now,” she said. 

College is often depicted as a place where you meet lifelong friends; that was one of Doshi’s goals. 

“My big goal was to make good friends and organize my time. By now, I have done that,” she said.  

Doshi doesn’t know yet what she wants to do, but she is thinking about going to graduate school to become a detective.  

As someone who struggled her first year, her advice to freshmen is to reach out for help.  

“The last thing you want to do is fail,” Doshi said. 

However, students should also use their college experience to “step out of their comfort zone, meet people and go to clubs to have a social network,” according to Doshi.  

“I like college so far: being on my own, making my own decisions, the big campus with lots of places to eat.”

Erika Echegoyen

Adriana Mantilla, another student at UConn, added that keeping a balance between social life and school life was critical for her to avoid burnout.  

“Get a planner, write down everything you need to do and reach out to people,” she said. 

Erika Echegoyen is one of the 4,200 incoming first-year students for the Fall 2023. She is majoring in biology and she hopes to go to medical school to become an ophthalmologist.  

She is excited about being a college student for the independence it gifts, but also because she gets to learn the things she likes and can pick her own classes.  

Before the year started, Echegoyen’s main fears were getting lost and the difficulty level of classes and teachers. 

“I like college so far: being on my own, making my own decisions, the big campus with lots of places to eat,” said Echegoyen.  

Something she found overwhelming was navigating HuskyCT. She had a hard time “finding out where things were, mostly the due date[s].” 

“The planning thing has been driving me insane,” she added. 

Echegoyen’s main goal for the upcoming four years is to be more organized and productive. She also wants to become more brave by putting herself out there more, even if it is daunting.  


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