Away from home: Coping on campus

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Featured Content Page 18

Josh Goodman

This article originally appeared as part of the Featured section in the February 26, 2009 print edition. To see how this article and the others in the section originally looked in print click the thumbnails for larger versions. The article continues below the thumbnails.

Walla Walla has plenty to do, but the small size can feel  isolating, particularly for people from larger cities. Many Whitties find ways to stay busy beyond campus,  though.

“Runs through the wheat fields are great for getting some  perspective,” said senior Gus O’Malley.   “Or I just hunt  down some culture. There are art openings and concerts,  and highbrow stuff that goes on here. You just have to look  for [it].”

But when it comes to food, Walla Walla doesn’t have everything Whitties want.   That especially goes for food from  Trader Joe’s.

“I try to bring the whole store,” said senior Jillian  Varonin.   “They have great snack foods for studying [and]  running to class.”

Sophomore Ilona Davis was excited that her mom sent  honey sesame sticks and chocolate trufï¬â€šes from Trader  Joe’s for Valentine’s Day.

Others wish they’d brought their favorites from home.  First-year Hannah Leigh was disappointed that the  local Safeway didn’t carry Udi’s granola.   The brand is  famous in Denver but mostly unheard of in the Pacific  Northwest.

Meanwhile, many students find themselves turning to  technology to stay connected to friends and loved ones living elsewhere.

“Skype and Facebook are helpful to connect with my  friends from home, since [they] live so far away from Walla  Walla that I don’t get to see them very often,” said Leigh.

Others, though, prefer low-tech communication. “I write postcards when I want to reach out to family and  friends,” said O’Malley.   “[It’s] a lot more personal than the  internet, and they eventually learn to write back.”

While Whitman students may spend some of their time  connecting with friends and family and seeking entertainment in Walla Walla, nearly everyone is busy.

“I’ve brought books from home, but I never have enough  time to read them,” said sophomore Nicole James.

That’s a testament to a campus with a lot to do.