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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

POWER: Home is where the heart is

I like to describe myself as a nomadic person. No, I do not spend my days hunting mammoth or gathering berries and nuts. I am a nomad because I have no singular place of residency. I have to keep traveling from place to place in order to hunt down my dreams. I gather memories and friends, like berries and nuts, as I go.

As college students, we are all like this. We come to Marquette so we can make a place for ourselves in the world through education. For many, this means leaving families behind for most of the year. It means traveling across the country to get an internship, or traveling out of the country to study in other cultures.

Although we constantly bounce around the world, being nomads does not mean we are homeless. In fact, the key to being a successful nomad is having the ability to make a home wherever you go.  It is important to have stability in your life, wherever you are. Without it, you feel out of place and cannot be yourself. You cannot be strong enough to hunt down your dreams.

The first step in building a home, is defining what “home” means to you. What about it provides stability?

One of my homes is Duluth, Minn. It is my hometown and where I grew up on a hill overlooking Lake Superior. My family lives in the same old blue house, in a neighborhood where there are still apple trees on every block.

When I return home, my friends and I lace our shoes up and go for a run on the woods’ trails. It is a tradition that stems out of our cross-country running days in high school. I know exactly where each rock and tree root lies on the path. We stop and stretch at the same rocky outcrop we usually stop at, and laughed with each other like time never passed. Although we are leading separate lives now and becoming different people, there is still a spot in our hearts for each other.

It is this familiarity among my friends, family and surroundings that makes Duluth my home. It is what provides stability for me. I belong there. I feel comfortable there. I can be myself there.

The definition of “home” is a personal inclination. For some people, all they need are their best friends to feel at home. Others need to be in a certain location or eat homey foods.

The times you spend away from home are when you realize what those inclinations are — what you miss the most. It is during these times when you can figure out what you need in life to feel at home. Once you know what these needs are, you can build a home for yourself.

When I came to Marquette, I looked for that same sense of stability I had in Duluth. It took a while to make a home here because I was unfamiliar with it. I had to stop searching for the hockey-fanatical Duluth in Milwaukee and open up to Marquette’s basketball-crazy culture. I joined clubs with like-minded people and created a role for myself in the community as a student, friend, roommate and writer.  I had to figure out where I belonged in a new setting.

As some say, “Home is where the heart is.”  So, wherever you go and whatever you may do, remember what home means to you.

Start a bicycle club if you miss biking home from school with your brothers. Get that recipe from Grandma and make her extra-saucy lasagna with your friends on a Friday night.  Attend a couple basketball games and cheer just as loudly as you would have at your high school’s homecoming. Build those types of communities around you. Do as our nomadic ancestors did and make a home away from home.

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  • J

    JoanneSep 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Home can just be in the people you love.. This was delightful and heartwarming …thank you!!!