What is home? Is it the structure you live in? Is it where your significant other resides? This philosophical question can only mean one thing: another Let’s Blog Off.
One answer to the ‘What is home?’ question is the cliché ‘Home is where the heart is.’ However, home is more than heart: it is a feeling. It is a warm-fuzzy that you receive when you walk in the door. It is that intangible piece that is indescribable to anyone else but you.
Where is home for me? Sit back and I will tell you. I have moved frequently over the last ten years, and only one place gives me that special warm-fuzzy feeling – Oxford, OH. Oxford is home to my beloved alma mater Miami University. It is true that I reside in Dayton, OH, but Oxford will always be home.
Why is Oxford so special to me? For starters, paying my own way through Miami taught me that I can stand on my own without help. I had good friends at MU that stood by me when times were tough. Oxford was the last place I lived where I felt as if I had a purpose. Lastly, the feeling I get when I go back is one of euphoria. Words can not describe exactly how I feel, but I always feel at home. I feel as if I belong.
I have a different purpose now, to test product and crunch numbers, but it is not the same. Walking into my house in Dayton does not give me the same feeling as walking into a building on campus. It has been awhile since I have lived in Oxford, but it will always be a part of me. It is my home.
Anyone who knows me in the slightest knows that I love my alma mater – Miami University in Oxford, OH. All I heard growing up was what a great school Miami is & how it is the most beautiful campus anywhere. (This “brainwashing” might have something to do with the fact that the majority of my family are Miami alums – 16 total including my mother & #17 is currently a sophomore at MU.) I can remember being accepted to Kentucky and my mother telling me, “It’s not Miami, so I’m not paying for it.” After a year at UK, I caved and transferred to Miami.
There were some bumps along the way, but I finally got my act together and graduated in December 2006.
I took a job at an electronics distributor a few months after graduation. Last year, I was laid off due to the economic conditions. I was angry at the world. Even at my beloved Miami. I looked at my diploma as a really expensive & useless piece of paper. I have recently changed my tune.
Last night I began to reminisce about my years at MU. I remembered working 12-20 hours per week for three years, while taking a full class load. I remembered being deathly ill during Spring 2004. So ill my DSC professor was concerned. I remembered the ridicule from a few classmates – and even a professor – because I was not in my 20s like the other students.
Then it occurred to me. My diploma is more than a really expensive piece of paper. It is a sign; a sign that I survived. It shows commitment, strength, and courage. Granted, I do not like the $50,000 student loan debt I have, but I am proud to say that I worked for my education. It was not handed to me.
My degree from Miami means more to me than people will ever know. Why? Because I earned it.