Home: It's Not Just a Place
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Student Life

Home: It's Not Just a Place

How could I call Reno my home when I had lived in Las Vegas nearly 20 years and all of my family was still there?

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Home: It's Not Just a Place
Furniture Bank

A year ago, I was frantically packing my suitcase, rushing to say goodbye to everyone in my home town, and constantly debating if I was making the right decision. There were times when I was ecstatic for what was to come in just a couple of days, but there were also moments in which I cried and questioned if this was what I really wanted. I’d be lying if I said that these worries ever went away entirely, but I was able to blur them out a bit sometimes.

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I ate my last dinner in a salad and sandwich restaurant with two of my closest friends, but didn’t realize until after how bad of an idea that was. As I drove home that night, I was so scared, so anxious, so doubtful, and so confused.

As my father and I drove up to Reno the next morning, my mind was running aimlessly. I was picturing what it would be like to attend a university where I don’t know anyone. I was questioning why I wanted to leave home so bad. Though I’ve heard time and time again that it’s better to pursue your passion rather than money, in this case, I doubted if it was really worth it.

With it being nearly a year since I left Las Vegas for the first time, I can’t help but reminisce on how I felt in my last days here and laugh at how dramatic I was. Back then, I honestly had no idea what to expect, but it wasn’t anywhere close to what I’ve gotten.

I never anticipated meeting some of my closest friends at UNR. I never thought I’d be able to have relationships with all of my professors. I didn’t think I’d look forward to going to school every day. I didn’t expect to be given the opportunity to work with two professors within my department. I never anticipated being a part of a department that spoils me and I certainly never expected to call Reno home.

I don’t remember when it happened for the first time, but around week 4 of this past semester, I noticed that I was referring to Reno as my home in natural conversations. It just slipped out.

At first, I was torn. How could I call Reno my home when I had lived in Las Vegas nearly 20 years and all of my family was still there?

For months, this was something that itched my mind. I had finally chosen a place where I love living and was feeling guilty for calling it home because I didn’t grow up here and my family isn’t here.

Then, though, I remembered the well-written words of Sarah Dessen- one of my biggest inspirations: “Home isn’t a set house or a single town on a map. It is wherever the people you love are, whenever you are together. It’s not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”

When I read her book “What Happened to Goodbye?” the first time, I browsed over these words rather quickly. Now that I’m in a situation for wanting to call two places home, though, these words speak to me. They remind me that it’s okay to have two homes, and more than anything, they allow me to see how blessed I am for being able to feel at home in two cities separated by 450 miles.

There are times when I question what I did to deserve to be spoiled like this and I don’t think I’ve reached a satisfying answer yet. Until I do, though, I will continue to be eternally grateful to those who make Las Vegas and Reno home to me and will strive to remind others that perhaps home isn’t “a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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