When I was a first-year student, I remember driving back to campus from a dinner off campus with my friends after a long day of school. In the middle of our candid conversations and laughter, I remember saying, “When we get home, we should go to Parsons’ Store”. In that moment, I realized that this was the first time I had referred to Saint Martin’s University as “home”.
Calling a place that isn’t where you are from as “home” is a scary thing because it isn’t actually home. Doing this is truly an exhilarating experience because you feel so many emotions including fear, a little bit of disappointment in yourself for betraying the place that you have lived previously, but also a little bit of joy. As a first-year student, it was the first sign that I was beginning to absolutely love SMU. Every college student goes through this phase where you stop calling it just your room in your residence hall and transition into calling it your home. It is almost like a rite of passage! As a student, I fell in love with the people, my surroundings, and the values that the university upholds. I have learned that home isn’t just the place where you live, but it’s where you surround yourself with people that you love and feel like you belong.
On a separate note, last weekend, I travelled with my softball team to sunny Southern California, the place where I had grown up for eighteen years of my life. It is my
original home where my family lives, my roots are, and where I am most happy. I had a wonderful time having my parents, my brothers, and the rest of my family in the stands to watch our games. Being able to spend time with them outside of softball was special too. Even though I was disappointed to have two of our games cancelled on Monday, February 6, my team and I were able to go to Disneyland
(which if you know me, this was really exciting). Everything about being in Southern California just felt right. But despite all this, when I talked about being at Saint Martin’s University, I would still call it “home”.
It’s so crazy to think that you can call two places home. Being able to have a place to call home is special, but the fact that I have two places to call home makes me the luckiest gal in the world. Saint Martin’s University has provided me with so many opportunities to grow and succeed, and for that I am thankful. I love living on a floor such as the Norcia Leadership Community to help me discover who I was meant to be, having teammates that always hold me to a higher standard, and being a part of a university that creates the feeling that you are part of a family. I am so fortunate to be able to call this wonderful place as my home away from home, and I hope that you feel the same way.