“You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney
If you’re like me, college may be the first time that you’ve lived somewhere other than where you grew up. I didn’t know anyone in Tulsa when I arrived as a freshman, and I was terrified by the transition, but it quickly became a second home to me.
The only trouble with home is that you never want to leave it. Home is where you feel comfortable and in control. But you should leave, at least temporarily. When you live somewhere else, you discover more about yourself, find new people and places to love, and you learn to appreciate your home again for all new reasons.
Even if The University of Tulsa is right down the block from you, there are so many opportunities at TU to extend yourself and get uncomfortable (in a good way). In part, it is simply being open to new and different people. TU has such a diverse population of students that I now have friends not only across the country, but across the world. You can also join clubs and organizations that introduce you to new cultures, ideas and passions. Studying abroad allows you to not just visit another place, but live there and immerse yourself fully in the culture.
You can also take jobs and internships across the country. I am spending my summer interning at PulsePoint Group, a crisis communication and digital consulting firm in Austin, Texas. For the second time in my life, I packed up my belongings and moved to a place I had never been and didn’t know anyone. In exchange for the familiarity of home and the comfort of having those I know around me, I have gotten an adventure that I will never forget. I live in a house with seven awesome roommates, who are mostly students at the University of Texas. I spend my week working for a company with clients all over the world, and I spend my weekends paddle boarding on Ladybird Lake, hiking Greenbelt trails, listening to live bands and shopping on South Congress.
In college, you get the chance to leave your heart all over the place. Part of mine is in Des Moines, where I grew up and where my family is. A part of my heart is in Tulsa, where I have had the opportunity to learn and change and meet incredible people. After this summer, I will leave another part in Austin, a city that has surpassed all of my expectations. It’s true, you never feel entirely at home in one place again. Instead, you get to claim a bunch of different places as a part of you, and that is so much better.