To My New Home,

Thank you for showing me compassion when I stood in my dorm room on that first day, already missing my mom only hours after she left. Thank you for showing me patience when I wandered around campus, searching for a building I wasn’t even sure existed. Thank you for showing me laughter during those nights I stayed up talking to my neighbors for hours. Thank you for showing me kindness when that upperclassman stopped to ask if I needed help. Most importantly, thank you for showing me that I can have more than one “home”.

It’s crazy to think that just months ago I was nervous about coming to you. I was scared to leave the home I would grow up in, anxious to meet the people who would become my new best friends and frightened by the thought of having to wear shower shoes everyday. But now I am sitting in my dorm room with a whole semester under my belt, grateful for everything I have accomplished but also knowing that I could not have done any of this alone.

So to the parents you made me miss… I never thought I would miss Dad constantly changing the channel on the TV or Mom nagging me to clean my room. I didn’t think I would miss the dogs barking until I let them up on the bed or my Sister yelling at me for taking one of her shirts. However, those phone calls to dad after a hard day or those care packages from mom filled with all my favorite treats made it feel as though I wasn’t states away. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to attend a place as special as this, for helping me gain the courage to go out on my own and for always believing in me. None of this would have been possible without your constant encouragement and love.

To the friends you let me meet… I love those lunches in the dining halls where we talk about our days. I love those nights where we stay up for hours, laughing about nothing at all. I love the walks to class and the early morning wake up calls for breakfast. I love that in four short months, I have found people I can completely be myself around. I did not think it was possible to love a group of people so quickly but simply put, I love you all. Thank you for the memories we share and the ones I know we are about to make. Thank you for becoming my people and making my transition to college everything I hoped it to be.

To the campus you allow me to call my own…. From West Quad to East Quad, I have begun to know you like the back of my hand. I now know which dining hall is considered the best and which staff member will give you that extra scoop of fries. I now know which bricks are loose on my walks to class and where to go to see the best view of the sunrise. I pass the professor and student laughing about something in class. I watch the boys play frisbee on the grass in A-Quad. I hear the cheers of the football games from my dorm room. You have given me a place to challenge myself, meet new people and become apart of a community. Thank you for that.

This semester has been full of challenges, laughter and most importantly new beginnings. In the last four months, I have quickly realized that I am exactly where I am meant to be. Lastly, thank you for the memories I have made, for providing me with the tools to achieve many of my greatest dreams and for becoming my home away from home. You helped me grow and become a person I did not even know I was capable of. So here is to the next three and a half years, I am sure they will be even better than I can even imagine.