One of the definitions for ‘home’ is a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household. There has always been and probably always will be an on-going debate of where home truly lays. There’s the literal opinion of what a home is and then there’s the opinion of the emotional connection that we have with a certain place and/or shelter. Recently, I have found myself straddling the fence of this debate.
As my wonderful, memorable first semester here at Troy University is coming to an end, I begin the struggle of packing nearly all of my things to board a plane to return back home. I am overjoyed to be able to go home since I have not been back to Maryland since August. However, I find myself also saddened by the thought of leaving. Yes, I am returning to family and friends, but I am also leaving a close group of friends that I can call family. So now I am trying to decipher what most far-from-home college students go through: Which one can I call home?
Of course I feel at home in Maryland, but over these past five months, I have grown more and more comfortable with my environment here in Troy, Alabama. At first, I figured I would just be a college student in Troy that is from Maryland. Now though, I see myself becoming an involved citizen in Troy that once lived in Maryland; which is completely okay with me, but I don’t want to leave Maryland behind.
Here at school, I proudly represent Maryland, but anywhere outside of Troy, I proudly represent Troy. When I went with the marching band to Nashville, Tennessee, I did not hesitate to say that I was from Troy. I practically forgot that just a few months ago, Maryland was all I knew. At first, I felt as though there was something wrong with me. Thoughts like, “Oh really, you don’t remember all those years you lived in Maryland? Five months in Alabama and you forgot all about home”kept filling my head.
Then, I found another definition of home: an environment offering security and happiness in which one’s domestic affections are centered. This helped me to realize that home is not black and white or something that can be wrong or right. Home is simply where I feel at home, and I don’t have to have just one. Both my home in Maryland and my home here in college give me comfort and happiness.
So I have finally made my decision. Instead of trying to resolve my internal fight of where to call home, I accept the blessing of being able to call two different places that are far from each other, home. I just have to remember, home is where you want it to be, not where everyone tells you it is.
Sierra Terrell is a college freshman at Troy University in Troy, Alabama majoring in Psychology. Originally from Waldorf, Maryland, Sierra was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Maryland for 2012. Learn more about Sierra here!