I have seen my fair share of college campuses, as most students have. I have seen southern campuses, and visited schools on the west coast, and what I have found is there is nothing that matches the feeling of your own school. I can appreciate the beauty of the various schools I have seen, the programs they have to offer, and the student life most definitely. But, the feeling I have at my own school is like home, and not just because I have spent my first year there.
People usually grapple with where they live. They want a warmer climate, or to live in the mountains, or to be by the sea (beaches are everywhere in Jersey, wink-wink). In the end of the day though, home is home, and you love your home even if it is not on a pristine coastline or in beautiful rolling hills. It is more about the feeling, which I value more than the beauty, architecture or scenery.
When I first visited my school, I surprisingly felt very at home, and that feeling went away and came back a multitude of times over my first year. Sometimes I would visit schools during the year and be sure I was at the wrong place and I needed to transfer, which some people really do need to do, that just was not my path though. For myself, my major, and my values, I know my school is home. It felt like home the moment I walked on to (one of the four) campus(es), and I am sure that sense will only grow stronger over my next three years.
There are most definitely pros and cons to each school. For instance, sometimes I wish I didn't have to take a bus to Busch for a night class, or that we had Hot Dog Day more than just once a year, and that it didn't get so freezing cold during the last few game days of the year, and most prominently that Brower Commons could somehow, someway be anything like Livingston Dining Hall.
All in all, I can visit all the campuses I want, familiar and unfamiliar, near and far, and they will never amount to my college campus, but that is just my preference. I truly hope each student can feel at home at their own school as I do, and always know that you visit other places to always end up returning home. I will never be opposed to exploring new places, but I will always find the road that leads back home.