Carter’s story: Homesick isn’t in his vocabulary

Beth Sewell

Homesick is one word Robert Carter has taken out of his vocabulary. The Gallatin, Tenn. freshman has been having the time of his life in Bowling Green and can’t remember what his life was like before Western.

“I haven’t been home in a month,” he said. “College is like total freedom, no curfews, no guidelines and no one telling you what to do.”

The summer before Carter came to the Hill, he was itching to get out of his small-town surroundings. While working as a lifeguard, Carter spent most of his days listening to the women in his town gossip about the same people and the same events. It was enough to drive him crazy.

Moving to Bowling Green opened him up to a fresh set of faces and a town where no one knew his business.

“I love Bowling Green,” Carter said. “It’s so much bigger and there’s just more to do here. I can’t even begin to imagine how many people I’ve met.”

One person he didn’t have to meet was his roommate, who has been his best friend since fourth grade. Carter said having your best friend with you when you make the transition from high school to college comes in handy.

“I figured out pretty quickly that college is a balancing act between studying and partying,” he said. “We kind of help each other balance and make sure there’s more studying than partying, or at least equal.”

Carter and his roommate chose to add a new part of life to the balance when they decided to pledge the same fraternity. Carter chose to join because he wanted to get involved in campus activities and most of all he wanted something to do on the weekends.

“Everyone I’ve talked to who isn’t in a fraternity doesn’t do anything,” Carter said. “I wanted to know what was going on during the weekends and get involved in stuff.”

Carter said the life of a Kappa Alpha Order pledge isn’t as bad as some think. He only has to spend 10 weeks as a pledge, the shortest pledgeship of any fraternity on campus, and there is no hazing.

“I was worried at first, but they’ve really cracked down on hazing lately so it’s not bad,” he said.

Carter spends the majority of his weekends in Bowling Green, but this weekend he’s finally going home to Gallatin to watch the homecoming football game at his old high school. He’s looking forward to seeing his family again but isn’t expecting warm, fuzzy feelings of comfort when he crosses the county line.

“I miss home, but I don’t miss Gallatin,” Carter said. “Whenever I go home I get homesick for Bowling Green.”