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Permanent Address Unknown

It was a startling realization, the moment I realized that going home was no longer really going home. Because I went to boarding school, I have not lived at home for six years now. This puts me in a very different place than most of my classmates. I still believe, however, that we all have that moment when we realize that home is no longer the house where we grew up. At this point in our lives, home is more of an idea than anything else. It is hard to picture my tiny dorm room as home, so instead I think of the people that make me feel at home here.

With that, I have come to think of home as more of a state of mind. Home is any place or person that provides comfort or safety. I am lucky to have that here at Marquette.

My brother is six years older than me, and therefore always learns these valuable life lessons before I do. He is currently four years into a five-year commitment to the Marines. Because he is about to be deployed, he gave up his apartment lease and has been staying with friends for the past few months. His permanent address is a P.O. Box. Most of his belongings are in storage.  Yet, none of this bothers him. For the last four years, home has been wherever his work takes him. Being surrounded by other Marines is now his idea of home.

In a way, I guess I understand that. Home is becoming more about people than places. For the past six years, I have moved in and out of new places several times. I will probably still be moving around for the next six years. When we are this young, circumstances will determine where we end up. That may be beyond our control, but I am certain you can make a home for yourself anywhere. It is all about your attitude.

It may be terrifying to be in a new place, but there are people that are experiencing that same fear. It is the same reason we all make friends in our dorms freshman year: it is human instinct to find people dealing with similar experiences. Your support system will see you into adulthood.  

Having no permanent address may not seem like a blessing, but you can make it one. We are young enough to keep starting over, and that is a gift in itself. We were not able to choose where we came from, but we can always choose where we go from there.


Thank you MyMilwaukee.tumblr.com for the photo.

Aisling Hegarty

Marquette '18

Don't waste a minute not being happy
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