There's No Place Like Home

Three years ago, I was really nervous, as well as excited, to leave my home in Southern California and go to college in the Bay Area. Now it's still California, but with a seven-and-a-half hour drive or an hour flight, I could not exactly come home for the weekends. While I wanted to experience something new, I wasn't too sure what it would be like to be away from home for months at a time. However, by the second semester of my first year, I was calling Saint Mary's my home.

This, of course, got really confusing. Especially when I would be in Orange County talking about going home to Moraga where I technically don't have a house or a permanent room. But for me, home isn't the physical house or room. It's what you hear in songs or on the tacky signs that you see in boutiques. Home is wherever your heart may be. In that sense, home could be a geographic location, or a building, but I would argue that home is in the people there.

Home is where the heart is because home is where we will comfortable and safe, with no masks necessary. In this sense, Saint Mary's as a whole became my home because I felt like I could really be myself there. But really, the college is just a bunch of buildings. It is the people inside of those buildings that make the environment and make one feel at home.

There is no place like home because home isn't really a place. Throughout your life, you can have multiple homes and each home will have a different vibe because you will be surrounding yourself with different people. For me, home is family, home is friends, home is my roommate. Home is not some residence hall, or a building on a cul-de-sac that you grew up in. Home is the feeling that those places give you.

We say "make yourself at home" when we want someone to feel comfortable because that is what home is. So for me, what makes me feel comfortable are the people that I am with; but for you, home could be being on a boat alone at sea. This doesn't mean that that boat is your one true home, but being in that boat might be where you are the most comfortable at the time and that is totally fine. For that period of time, that boat can be your home but it might not be home for someone else in that same circumstance.

This is because home is what you make of it. Home is the feeling of comfort and of love that you can find that in most places, whether it's in California or somewhere else you have yet to go. So even if you might not be "home" for the summer, I hope that wherever end up that you will feel at home.

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