This weekend, I’m visiting my friend Molly at her off-campus Drexel Arms apartment, just down the road from main campus. I’ve never been on campus when school is not in session, and it’s pretty weird. Being here honestly makes me miss the school year even more because it’s so quiet. Saint Joe’s during the summer is what I imagine a waterpark to be like in the winter.
Driving around campus today really made me reflect on what makes this place so special. It isn’t the nice buildings or manicured lawns. Those are nice and all, but without the students, they mean nothing. Money can be poured into the campus to erect newer, fancier this and that, but without a quality student body, they’re useless. I don’t mean to sound cheesy or cliché; I really do love the community on this campus. It’s a beautiful place to be, but there are many other schools just as if not more astonishing to the eyes. If it weren’t for the community, I probably wouldn’t still be attending this school.
I really like the phrase, “home is in people, not places.” That’s a perfect way to sum up what it’s like to be at home at SJU. I always catch myself calling Saint Joe’s “home;” for example, I’ll be in my actual house in Maryland and refer to campus as home. But, as I drove around campus today, I didn’t feel at home. A dorm room is not home, the life you build inside of it is. It’s funny how when everyone leaves for the summer, it’s like they take the homey feeling with them, then they bring it back the following fall.
That being said, I did enjoy being on campus today. It brought back all the vivid memories from school year’s past, the ones that made this place my home. However, an eery homesickness crept over me as I looked around. I have to say I do miss the campus itself when I’m at my house, but that is not what brings me back semester after semester. I am homesick for my community, because home isn’t the place, it’s the people. At least that’s how I see it.