Home Away from Home
We are halfway through September already! The weather is starting to turn, leaves are falling and the Caritas Veritas Symposium is tomorrow. It’s official: summer is over.
I came back to campus a few weeks ago after a long, relaxing weekend back home in Wisconsin. I am an out-of-stater, so I don’t get to go home very often. It was the first time I had seen my family in three weeks, and I probably won’t be home for another five or six.
I always love time spent at home eating my favorite foods, laughing with my family and doing things I never have time to do at school like watching movies and playing Mario Kart with my brother. But, even though home is such a wonderful place, I always enjoy coming back to Dominican.
On my drive back, after almost two hours battling traffic between Milwaukee and Chicago, I exited the interstate and within minutes I was surrounded by lush, green trees and quiet paradise. The little journey on Thatcher Avenue always makes my heart melt and I think about how blessed I am to call this place my home.
Just a few weeks ago, 200 freshmen residents moved into the dorms. I always love this time of year, not only because I am excited about school starting up again but also because I get to see the excitement of hundreds of other students embarking on college journeys of their very own.
As with every university, there will always be a handful of students who transfer out after a few months, but I hope that the rest learn to love this place as much as I do. I hope they are determined to make the best out of their four years here. It's not hard to do. There are countless clubs and organizations to get involved in, tons of great on-campus job opportunities and lots of fun events to attend, not to mention the amazing professors and staff members. Going to a school as small and close-knit as Dominican means people will know you personally and call you by name. The employees in the Cyber Café will remember you and ask how your day is going, your RA will catch up with you after your first week of class, and your English professor will strike up a conversation when you see him in the hallway (which may or may not be a good thing!)
If you take advantage of the opportunities on campus, get involved and meet new people, this place will start to feel like home. Before long, you will find yourself chatting with friends in the quad, crafting in the SIRC, studying in the Reading Room or stopping by the Ministry Center to say hi and grab a bagel.* You may find yourself missing home but, chances are, you will also miss school.
“Make school as much a home as possible.” –Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli
*University Ministry hosts Bagel Day once a month. It is simply a room full of nice people, free bagels and an assortment of spreads, juices and fair trade coffee. What could be better?