“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
The hardest thing we will ever do is leave home. To leave the comfort of the place we have known for so long, a place that we have grown and created ourselves, is not an easy transition. But it is necessary. If we truly want to grow beyond the limits of one place, one time and one experience, we move on. We embrace the new and different and in turn we expand our horizons. When we do this, whether we realize it or not, we create a new home in our new chapter of life.
For me, I am leaving the home I have known for the past six years. Canisius College, the place I earned my Bachelor’s degrees in English, Communication Studies and Creative Writing and now my Master’s in Communication and Leadership has been the cornerstone of the beginning of my adulthood. This place became a home in ways I never could have possibly imagined.
When I started my college journey in 2009, (man, the thought of it being that long ago is scary!) I simply thought I would go to class, come home, go to work and earn a degree in as little of time as I possibly could. But what I got in return was a place I would stay morning until night, friendships that would feel like family and professors that weren’t just teachers, but rather mentors and support systems. I dove into experiences that pushed me out of my comfort zone, I traveled the country and I made a name for myself.
This was the place that I really felt my faith. I wasn’t just repeating the words and actions that have been engrained in my mind over the years, but I was really living my faith. Through it all I was seeing God in others, and in all things and experiences. I was finding the silver lining when the roof would cave in and most importantly God became my best friend and not some mythical guy in the sky.
To sum up the words to describe how Canisius has become a home to me, would be like asking a person to condense all the stories of the Bible into a single sentence – and even that seems too easy.
While all the crazy parties, or late night study sessions in the library, or adventuring around Buffalo were some of the best memories at Canisius along with friendships that have reached the tenfold mark, the most important thing I’ve taken from this place is that I’m ready to go.
It may sound a tad pessimistic – but I feel that our humanly duty is to never sit idle and content, but rather to constantly seek how we can better ourselves and learn more about this world. So, yes, Canisius has given me the best six years of my life – there’s not a doubt in my mind. But I’m ready to take those six years and use them to build the next 60 being present in the world, doing, living and creating. There’s no doubt in me that these six years and all that have transpired will be with me for my lifetime. If there is any consolation that comes with leaving a home behind, it’s knowing that the new homes you create will hold with them the homes you built for yourself before.
I often worried about leaving Canisius behind, not just for what it would mean for me, but what it would mean for Canisius. I was a part of a group of people that I feel made Canisius more than just a college. They in fact made it a home, for me and for hundreds of others. What happens when you leave? Does it fall a part? Does it suddenly change into something it wasn’t before? Yes and no.
Change is inevitable. While Canisius itself will change it’s heart will not. I’ve been fortunate enough to make friends with the new leaders of Canisius. A wonderful group of freshmen (oops, now technically sophomores) who are making Canisius a home for themselves and for those around them. I see that yes, it is changing and adapting, but the wonderful heart and soul and beautiful, inspiring people, will always be there, even with all the comings and goings and changes that await. I feel like I am leaving Canisius and it is in the best hands possible and nothing is more comforting than leaving a place, knowing its good work will continue.
Canisius, you never let me down. And now it’s my turn, I will try my hardest to never let all that you blessed me with dwindle. I promise to keep the fire burning that you ignited inside me and to never let you down. You taught me what it meant to fall in love and to allow that love to guide me through everything. Everyone I meet. Everywhere I go. Everything I do.
So while we may no longer be in the same place at the same time, and while I build a new home for myself in a new place, doing new things with new people, I will never forget you and all you have blessed me with.
Canisius, you are my home, forever more.