Home is a complicated thing when you’re in college. As a freshman, I came up with the idea that home was where your toothbrush was. So, for all of my first year of college, I never took a toothbrush to and from school with me. But eventually that wasn’t enough of a definition.
You see, I found myself with two very real homes, both with their own unique sets of friends and family, both with their own ups and downs. And to choose between them, to call one “home” and the other something else…well, I simply couldn’t do it.
Most of you know how Oxford became a third home to me, and how it was to return to my Orlando home. But now I’m back in my Georgia home, and arriving was a whole new experience.
When I first drove onto the campus and got out of my car, I nearly had to fight back tears. I had missed this place soooo much. The magnolias, the gothic brick buildings, the one classical building, the steeple at the top of the administration building... Everywhere I walked brought back memories. All the same, it’s hard to miss a place, since as much as I missed the buildings (especially Knight Hall, where most of my classes are), the buildings had not, I felt, missed me.
After two days, however, Joanne and Jessica (my roommates and school “family”) arrived, and for the first time since winter break, we were all three together again. And there was something right about it. And I knew I was home.
There is a truth about home that I learned my freshman year. No matter how many places you hold in your heart, it is not you alone that determines where your home is. Home is, and always will be, where the hearts’ of the people you love are.