Edds: Homeward bound, but beckoned to college

Devin Edds

After traveling three-and-a-half hours in a car to return to the place where my whole story began, I found myself wondering, “Why did I leave campus, again?” The weekend was full of family, sleep and church. Nothing exciting. Nothing but the added stress of home life and the desire to return to my friends, classes and beautiful, little dorm room.

For many, returning home is a wonderful experience. Familiar sights, smells, activities and people. The voyage back is exciting and relief-filled for the homesick.

Being the over-worked, busy college student I’m slowly finding myself to be, I, however, found myself not getting anything done. I longed for a quiet workspace in which to do my work. The lack of distraction to keep my mind at ease. My heart ached for bustling sidewalks and people I had never seen before.

I listened to the stories my roommate and new-found friends had to tell; I saw the various posts on Facebook and got texts about being missed. It slowly dawned on me — I was missing out. I was missing out on making the memories everyone else would remember for a lifetime. I was losing time in which I could have been cheering our football team to victory or laughing with friends at the soccer game. I could have been the studious girl I so desire to be and the social butterfly I’ve now found in myself. Going home tore me away from the “college experience” I had dreamed of for so long.

Don’t get me wrong. I missed my family, my own bed, my old friends and the ability to shower without shoes on. However, campus kept calling me back home.

This is where I belong now — my new home. I’ve finally found a place I can thrive and be anyone or anything I want to be. Why I gave that up for a weekend I’m still not quite sure.

I learned a lot about myself this Labor Day weekend, as I’m sure many other students did as well. I am no longer a narrow-minded, small-town girl. Instead, after just two short weeks here, I’ve changed — grown up, even. My personality may still resemble the rambunctious high school senior I was at this time last year, but my heart, soul and mind have blossomed.

I no longer view the world as oppressive or stifling. I no longer feel smothered by my own seemingly-impossible, lofty dreams. When I set foot on this campus, I become a whole new person entirely. Here, I have friends to support me the entire way, the possibility and options to surpass even my highest of expectations and the will to change the world.

At home, you wouldn’t find me opening myself to new things. You wouldn’t find me trying sushi or joining a new club. I live in a box at home, afraid to be judged, afraid to step out of the “norm” society has bound upon me.

Here, I become my own person. A person with dreams, achievements and beliefs. Campus is where I’ve truly found myself, and I missed being able to be myself when away.

Iowa State is already molding me into a better, brighter version of myself, and I cannot wait to see where this new journey takes me.

I will not forget the place from which I came, nor will I ever regret returning there — to my family and the ones I cherish and love.

But the house in which I grew up will never again be “home.” Home is where we flourish. Home is where we find peace, success and the ability to do whatever we set our minds to. Home is where we make it and my heart has chosen Iowa State for such a place.

I only wish my family were here to see me grow and to experience the beauty of such a journey along my side. Nonetheless, it’s my journey to make, and I think it’s safe to say, I wouldn’t change a thing.