I’m Michelle Callaghan, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our new column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.
Get hyped: this weekend is Homecoming! To be honest, until a few days ago and some Wikipedia reading, I always thought Homecoming meant the first football game at home after a string of away games. As it turns out, while football is of course a super exciting part of homecoming, the people “coming home” are the alumni.
Warning: there are some feelings incoming. Prepare yourself.
To Wildcats from years gone by, Villanova is home and always will be. College is a second home to its students for hundreds of reasons, most obviously because a majority of students physically move into campus residences halls and apartments. College is their first home away home. But even for commuters and part-timers, colleges become emotionally significant dwellings. They become so much more than sterile buildings with desk-filled classrooms.
I am only two months into the Villanova experience as a grad student, so I feel like I have a connection with the first-year experience of campus, but I do vividly remember the first few months of my undergrad experience: the excitement, the fun, the new friends and new responsibilities. But I also remember anxiety, fear, and homesickness. I remember challenges and I remember mistakes.
The reason college becomes home for thousands upon thousands of people is not just because college is an exciting and fun place to live for a few semesters—it is home because it is a community of human beings learning how to think and learning how to live. It is home because it is, for so many students, the mostly-forgiving net where they take the first daring (or tentative) leaps into adulthood.
From the outside, college can look idyllic: beautifully manicured campuses filled with young thinkers thinking their ways to academic success. But from the inside, it is home: raw, feeling, and sometimes fraught, but a loving light. It’ll push you forward, but it will always welcome you back.
Now go check out the Homecoming event schedule!
Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.