September 06, 2013
Editor adjusts to home after parents' divorceLike most summers before it, this summer delivered its fair share of anticipated difficulties.
My most frequent tribulations included painful mosquito bites, hair-ruining humidity and painful, peeling sunburns (the result of being kin with Casper the Friendly Ghost).
But the fallout from my parents' divorce was definitely not among the expected. Adjusting to my parents' abrupt separation meant coping with major changes in my life.
Chiefly, it meant moving with my mom to a new house in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
I packed 20 years-worth of my possessions into boxes and bins and relocated everything to Harrisburg.
For a few weeks following the move, I alternated between houses. I lived with my mom and visited my dad.
Nothing felt quite as surreal as visiting the house where I had lived for almost my entire life. The emptiness I had left behind was palpable.
To add to my confusion, I spent a portion of my summer living out of a suitcase in Potomac, Md., while staying at my cousins' house for the duration of a summer internship.
By the end of August, I was more than ready to return to the stability of Susquehanna.
The majority of my summer had left me feeling disoriented and confused. It seemed that every time I went somewhere, I was leaving one home for another.
When Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" wished to go home, she found herself immediately back in Kansas because that was the only home she knew.
But I would wager that most of us aren't like Dorothy, and home doesn't have any singular meaning in our lives.
Perhaps you, like me, have found yourself wondering: "If I put on a pair of ruby red shoes and click my heels together, where would I end up?"
Now, perhaps you wouldn't use such a cheesy anecdote, but I'm sure you understand what I'm trying to express.
It's truly interesting how a person's concept of home can become so drastically altered.
During my freshman year of college, in my first few weeks as a Crusader, I overheard many of the upperclassman students refer to Susquehanna as their home.
They conveyed this sentiment nonchalantly in conversations, simply stating to each other, "It's good to be home."
As a new student, this notion was foreign to me. In my mind, college was simply college and home was a small town in Lebanon County just over an hour away.
Yet it wasn't long before the terms became interchangeable.
As a result of my college experience and parents' divorce, I have realized that home isn't a locale. It's an attitude.
Home is the product of embracing the people and places around you and accepting that while circumstances are never perfect, there will always be someone or something to make you feel loved and valued.
Life can be complicated and confusing, but it's comforting to know that home is what you make it.
I'm happy to be back at Susquehanna, where I know that I belong.
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