Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

In the fall of 2016, I drove two and half hours up to West Chester University to begin the next chapter of my life. However, little did I know this was going to be my new home away from home. A year later, I am preparing to move out and head back to New Jersey for the summer and I can honestly say I am going to miss this place more than I thought.

Being an out-of-state student at a Pennsylvania state university—with the majority of undergraduates being PA residents—I was worried about making new friends. Also, I was the only student from my high school that chose to come to West Chester, so I felt very alone.

A big fear I had was that I did not want to go to a “suitcase” school where everyone went home on the weekends because they lived so close, but West Chester was certainly not that. Not only did my roommate and I become very close friends, but I also made friends with a solid five people in my dorm building as well as people in my classes.

Kelly Lovett, West Chester University freshman and dual major of early grades and special education, said, “Everyone was really nice and I made such good friends very fast. It was like a little mini family that I ended up not wanting to leave.”

West Chester University is a medium-sized school just outside the city of Philadelphia; therefore, it establishes a good sense of community, where it is not too big and not too small. Julie Gall, WCU freshman history major, described her choice to come here, saying, “I chose this school because it was out-of-state and it has a good community and home feel.”

Going off to college can be one of both the scariest and most exciting experiences in your life, but West Chester recognizes this and makes its students feel at home. On the weekends, they run different events at Sykes Student Union called “Sykes After Dark” and they have $2 movies playing Friday through Sunday. There is always something to do when staying on campus.

While being away from your family can be challenging, college is a great opportunity to learn how to live and survive on your own. Although it is hard, West Chester sculpts a safe environment where you are able to thrive as an adult and a student.

A main concern I had coming to college was safety on campus; I am sure we have all heard of the horror stories about the sexual assaults on college campuses. While this is a real concern, West Chester Public Safety does an exceptional job in making sure the students feel completely safe. At night there are bright, blue safety towers around campus in case any one feels in danger, and all you have to do is press it and an officer will escort you to your dorm.

Also, if any criminal acts occur in or around campus, every student will be notified via email and text message immediately.

Being an out-of-sate student has its challenges, but I would not trade my experiences here at West Chester for the world. I have already made friends that will last a lifetime, and it has truly become my home away from home. The comfort of my small dorm room has proven to be a safe haven when the stress of school becomes too tough, and seeing the Rammy statue in front of Old Library on the way to class has become routine.

There is never a dull moment on campus; whether it’s the Involvement Fair, Banana Day or game day, the school spirit is always set on full blast. Even the flowers in the fall and spring are a variety of purple and gold.

Just remember: before leaving campus, make sure you take a picture with Rammy, because your time here at West Chester will be one of the most memorable times of your life and you won’t want to forget it.

Eryka Phillips is a first-year English major with a minor in studio art. She can be reached at 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *