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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

JOURNAL: Show and Tell

Photo courtesy of Isaac Pinter.
Photo courtesy of Isaac Pinter.

“Change is hard, I felt as though I needed something to remind me that I am loved and even if I am not at home, I will always have family and friends that will support me on my journey,” Rosie Stone, a first-year in the College of Arts & Sciences, says.

When Stone first arrived on campus, she was fearful but excited to begin a new chapter in her life. As she packed she focused on the basics, but her nerves reminded her to bring the one item that holds a special place in her heart: a small photo album of her childhood.

Flipping through the pages of her album, Stone displays a sense of joy and pure happiness as she explains a story behind each picture of her as a toddler with family and friends.

“I’ve had this photo album for as long as I can remember, so even if I don’t recall each event featured, I have heard the story behind each one,” Stone says. “My mom always told me when I first received this gift, I would bring it to daycare and show it to my class, eager to show off the loving relationships in my life.”

These items may seem small and juvenile to some, but the personal meaning held within them is larger than anything that can be brought to college.

Throughout her first year at Marquette, Stone is not only reminded of the important memories with her album but has begun making new memories with people she considers family.

Although Stone wasn’t sure what to bring with her entering her first year at Marquette, some returning students decided to bring back their necessities, in addition to items to remind them of home.

Isaac Pitner, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, made the decision to pack more than just the basics when he arrived back on campus this fall. This time around he brought a bright red fuzzy Christmas blanket he received from his grandfather, which stays in his dorm year round.

“As early as I can remember my grandpa and I had the tradition of watching Christmas movies every year, something so simple, but yet it was one of my favorite parts of the season,” Pinter says. “When I was five my grandpa got me this blanket and from that point on, I’ve always brought it with me to our tradition — movie marathons, with Elf being our absolute favorite.”

When school gets tough or homesickness hits Pitner, this blanket helps to remind him of his number one supporter, his grandpa. He views his item as a representation of love, and whenever he sees it he knows his grandfather is with him.

“My grandpa passed away last year and one of the things I miss most about him is how he would always given me a big, warm hug whenever we saw each other,” Pitner says. “Although I am unable to give him a physical hug now, whenever I see the blanket, I am reminded of his kind heart and positive spirit.”

As Pitner lives over five hours away, he is unable to go home as frequently as he would like, but this small token serves as a reminder to him that people do not have to physically be with him to be supporting him. Even as Pitner heads home on breaks, he says how he always makes sure to pack this winter-themed blanket.

Pitner is not the only student to bring along a comfy item that serves as a reminder to loved ones. Caroline Gaither, a first-year in the College of Nursing, decided to bring along a pink fluffy pillow that has been with her since the age of eight.

“My love for pigs began at a young age with the help of my godfather who owned numerous pigs on his property. When I turned eight he gifted me a pig Pillow Pet, a sign of our shared love for pigs,” Gaither says.

Growing up in Illinois, Gaither was familiar with farm life, but being on a farm in California was different than anything she was used to. She considers herself an Illinois native but also views California as her home away from home.

“I haven’t been to California for quite some time as my godfather died in January of 2021, but even though I haven’t visited recently I still consider it an extension of home,” Gaither says. “This Pillow Pet is a constant reminder that he is always with me, and nothing will change that, even if he is not physically here with me.”

Although many receive an item with meaning that grows over time, others are given items with instant meaning and gratitude. Whether it is a hard-earned award, an heirloom or even a physical reminder of those back at home.

Mia Ketelhohn, a senior in the College of Engineering, dedicated her life to gymnastics through hours at the gym, endless competitions and forever bonds with her teammates. Although nothing can replicate the love she has for her teammates, she brought along a few T-shirts to remind her of the bonds back at home.

“I have competed as a gymnast for over 10 years, and my teammates became some of my closest friends. We not only worked together as a team, but we supported each other through the ups and downs of life,” Ketelhohn says. “I received this shirt during my favorite season of my career, my junior year of high school. Our coach designed these shirts to highlight our state qualification and represent the years of hard work we put into getting to that point.”

Showing her T-shirt, Ketelhohn relives her memories with her teammates and friends, excited to head back home to cheer them on during their next competition.

“I grew up not too far from Marquette, so when I travel home, I typically watch my younger teammates compete on my old high school team. This shirt is a constant reminder of how much my team and the sport mean to me,” Ketelhohn says.

Although she is no longer a part of the team in the same way she used to be, she continues to support them from campus and remains proud of their achievements.

By simply looking at the items that have made people who they are today, it may be easy to see the person they truly are. It could be said that many items a person owns show a connection to someone they lost, the person they were before coming to college or something that has been with them since childhood. Many people have one thing that holds a special place in their hearts, even if they have yet to realize it yet.

This story was written by Lauren Puthoff. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Lauren Puthoff
Lauren Puthoff, Arts & Entertainment Reporter
Lauren is an Arts & Entertainment Reporter at the Wire. She is a sophomore from Bettendorf, IA studying construction engineering. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her dog, listening to music, and trying new foods. This year Lauren is looking forward to meeting new people and reporting on events around campus.

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