Arizzi: Where the heart is

Erin O'Neal

The trek back to South campus from Wednesday’s CAT meeting was a time of great insight for me. Tired, dirty and hungry, my friends and I were extremely eager to get back to Stanford Hall and relax for awhile. We couldn’t wait to get “home.” As one of the girls said these words aloud, we realized their impact and stopped for a second to think. It is an amazing thing when you realize that home has a new meaning. Throughout my entire life home has meant 47 Iroquois Drive; but now I have two homes. When during Orientation people asked me where I lived I was always quick to say “Long Island,” now I immediately respond with “Stanford.” What strikes me most about this drastic change is how quickly it occurred. Three weeks ago I came to this campus terrified and homesick. I wouldn’t say I’m now fully adjusted to college life by any means, but at the same time a part of me has become attached to this place. My dorm room has become my new bedroom, the Spit, my new kitchen, the fourth floor lounge, my new study. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m starting to feel at home right here at Villanova. When I used to imagine college, I imagined it as an idealistic state of eternal bliss. There were my wonderful professors, who would enlighten me with new ideas and teach me lessons I would swallow up like mom’s apple pie. I would work diligently, but never too diligently, and impress everyone with my endless wit and insight. I would be surrounded by lovely people who would party hard and study hard. Our weekends would always be eventful, and we would never tire of socializing. I would run every morning before classes started and only eat the healthy foods in the dining hall, laughing in the face of the notorious Freshman 15 while I maintained my current size and mocked the weaklings who couldn’t do it.Then I got here.My first realization has been that my classes are difficult. I have to work hard to keep up, and harder still to excel. Campus life, I realized, is not going to come knocking on my door. I don’t go out partying every night because I don’t have the opportunity and I have work to do. The Freshman 15 has become a realization in itself. Based on the amount of ice cream and smoothies I have consumed in my three weeks at Villanova, I will be happy if all I get from my meal plan is 15 pounds. Despite all these “disappointments,” I have found myself impressed with some of the very things I was worried about. Laughing for hours on end with the girls in my dorm, watching movies, getting lost in Philadelphia, sitting at the Oreo in the wee hours of the morning – these are the events I couldn’t foresee but have been the most fun thus far. I guess it is these little things that have made South campus and Villanova my new home. It’s walking to class and suddenly feeling the rain fall on my head, it’s proudly wearing my Villanova gear to my first college football game, only to find myself more enthralled with the Hampton College halftime show than our team, it’s reading the Bible for theology class and actually finding myself … interested. I guess I’ve realized that just because something is home doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and just because something isn’t perfect doesn’t mean you can’t love it anyway.Erin Arizzi is a staff columnist for The Villanovan. Contact her at [email protected].