To the Baylor freshmen who don't feel like Baylor is home,

It's hard to believe that I was in your shoes last year. This time just 12 months ago, I was sitting in my dorm room alone as the Baylor Homecoming parade cheerfully passed by on 5th Street as alumnae and Baylor families passed by. I silently regretted not going to see the festivities, talking to my parents on the phone.

Baylor didn't feel like my home until halfway into my freshman year. So I wasn't as excited for Baylor Homecoming as I am this year.

This year, I can't wait for Baylor Homecoming.

Baylor didn't feel like my home because Baylor was never my dream school. I was waitlisted to my dream school, and after that heartbreak I put my heart straight into Baylor, giving the school my all. I would go to games, show my spirit, and absolutely boast about my school. But it was fake. I struggled to love a school that I felt wasn't my home.

On the first day of Homecoming last year, I took my camera and went out and took pictures of Baylor's campus. I originally got out my camera just to take pictures, something that I really love. I thought that if I was doing something I love, I could feel just a bit happier. I stood on top of the 5th Street Garage, admiring Patt Neff through my lens. The view from campus was amazing, and I began to appreciate where I was attending my freshman year. I walked down 5th Street as families dressed in green and gold walked together, remembering their days on campus as students.

I ended up standing in Burleson Quad, looking at the iconic shot of Draper and Old Main, I placed my camera on the ground, wanting a different perspective of the historic buildings. An older man saw me taking pictures from afar and called out to me, "She's beautiful isn't she?" I couldn't help but exclaim in agreement.

This year, Baylor Homecoming is going to be so much more meaningful to me. I'm going back to 5th Street with a pride in my school and all that it has given to me. I'm going to cheer on the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium like so many people have done before me. I'm taking my camera back out there and I'm going to find and capture all the things that Baylor resembles.

So, as you freshmen may not consider Baylor your home yet, just wait. Patience, as I have learned, truly is a virtue. It may take time for you to consider Baylor your home. For some freshmen, Baylor was home the moment they moved in and found their group of friends for life. But consider that not all people are like that. There are more people out there who may not feel like Baylor is home.

Freshmen, get ready to feel at home. It may not be today or Homecoming weekend, but I promise you that Baylor will feel like home eventually.