August 25, 2021. My final day in my hometown, West Babylon, New York, and I was about to leave my friends, family, and everything I knew behind for the first time. I packed up my mom’s Ford Explorer and set out for the seven-hour drive from Long Island to Geneseo. Seven hours is a long time; I spent most of the drive contemplating if I had made the right college decision. I have been fortunate enough to have a tight-knit, strong group of friends for as long as I can remember. Coming to Geneseo, I feared losing these relationships and being unable to make connections with a whole new group of people.
On one of my first days on campus, I was talking to my new friend Grace about how I was a bit homesick. I met Grace, a 5’2 blonde with the most outgoing personality, at the paint night hosted by Geneseo Knight Life after move-in day. A few days later, she told me something that really changed my perspective on change. She said, “Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. The meaning of home changes wherever you go.” I’ve thought a lot about this concept since she said this that first week in September, and since then Grace has become one of my best friends. Change can be one of the hardest things you go through, especially at this age, but I feel like leaving your hometown allows you to grow as a person. As I am writing this, I am sitting around some of the most genuine and kindhearted people I have ever met. I am lucky enough to have such a great relationship with the people on my floor, Grace being one of them. Somehow, in just one short month, we’ve grown to learn everything about each other. Coming from all different parts of New York, it’s so cool that this small campus is what brought us all together. I often sit back and see us all laughing and smiling together, creating memories that I know will last a lifetime. I may not be living on Long Island anymore, but I think I’ve found a true sense of home at Geneseo.