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That’s When You Know You’re Home

Every other day I find myself saying “I hate Saint Mary’s”. Between having no air conditioning, Sodexo, and still using a community bathroom at age twenty, at the end of the day, I really can’t picture myself anywhere else.

The only thing I can vividly remember from my college application process is my guidance counselor saying, “You’ll get that feeling”. What the heck is this “feeling”? I’m not shopping for a wedding dress. I’m just trying to get into college.

November 14, 2011, the day before the Early Decision application deadline at Saint Mary’s College. Something clicked. It felt right. I got that “feeling”.

Just one month before, I would laugh obnoxiously every time my dad tried to tell me I should go to Saint Mary’s. My excuse was always “Sorry dad, but I like boys.” I’m still not sure if an all-girls school, in general, was the right choice, but Saint Mary’s is the perfect fit for me.                 

Choosing where you’re going to live for four years is not an easy decision. You’re 18-years-old and all you can think about is partying, boys, and being cool. Who really cares about school, right? Keep your prospective school’s geographical location in the back of your mind. If I could do it over again, I’m still not sure if northern Indiana is a place I want to be trapped in during winter months. But when you’re searching for the right school, your deciding factors should go much deeper than the weather.

I didn’t get the “feeling” right away. I stepped foot on Saint Mary’s campus for the first time in October of my senior year. My mom signed me up for a tour and an interview with an admissions counselor. Easily the worst two hours of my life. I was so uninterested in everything the admissions counselor had to say. All I could think about was the Chipotle I was going to eat after and there were no boys on campus. Why was I wasting my time?

Just one month later, I got the “feeling”. It was the atmosphere. It was the campus. It was the people I met. Saint Mary’s was it and that’s where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life.

At least once a month I have a bad day, I call home, and I beg my mom to let me transfer to a school close to home. I question why I’m here and think of the reasons why I chose Saint Mary’s, and I realize that no other school could ever hold as special of a place in my heart, as Saint Mary’s.

Three years later and I still get a sense of assurance as I drive down The Avenue.  It doesn’t matter how stressed I am or what’s going on in my life. It’s the same feeling you get as you jump on your bed after a long day. It’s when you feel safe, content, and purposeful, that’s when you know you’re home. 

Photo provided by the author

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Katie Calhoun

Saint Mary's

20 years old. From Fairview, Texas. Junior at Saint Mary's College. Class of 2016. Communications, Advertising, and Marketing studies. Katie Calhoun runs on Dunkin. 
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