I love where I grew up.  This isn’t a statement I hear many say when coming to college.  Most students can’t wait to get away from their “bubble” or parents or even their high school friends.

I would say leaving home was the bravest thing I have done thus far in my life.  I’m from a small suburb of Chicago, Geneva, and I absolutely love it there.  It’s a small community and my family is well known.  My brother and I were the sixth generation to graduate from the Geneva Community High School.  I formed an amazing group of best friends.  Life is pretty dandy for me.  Why would I want to leave all that?

I knew I had to get outside my comfort zone.  Experience life by myself.  On the drive to Drake in August of my first year my mom and dad and I piled into the our Chevy TrailBlazer ready for the journey.  As we were approaching Des Moines, my dad decided to fill up on gas so we stopped at a Kum n Go on I-235.  As I got out to stretch my legs I realized that my life would never be the same again.  Once I stepped foot on Drake’s campus I was going to change and grow more than I ever thought possible.  It was a crazy moment to fathom and even now I’m struggling to put this into words.

Now here I am, a junior in college.  I look back at my freshmen self and wonder how I was able to make it through the first semester of college.  If I had known then what I know now I don’t think I would do it again.  The constant homesickness and missing my family.  I was miserable.  I missed my friends. I hadn’t had to make new friends in six years.  It was hard!!  The number one thing that made me upset was when people would say let’s go home and mean to the dorms.  That’s not my home.  Geneva is my home.  Where my parents and dogs live is my home.  To this day I still do not call Drake my home.  It’s a four-year vacation.  I don’t think anyone really notices it, but I’m so conscious of it.

I’m happy to say that even though it has been a struggle I have found some lifelong friends here at Drake.  They’ve come to visit me and I’ve been able to share my love of Geneva with them  They’ve become friends with my high school friends, and my family.  It’s honestly the best case scenario.  So although it may seem unpopular I can’t wait until I’m done with college to move back home.  I can’t wait to come back from my vacation.