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You can always come back home

Caitlin Housley | Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Well, folks, there’s nothing like a final column to remind you that graduation is quickly approaching.
This is my last time to write as a student of Saint Mary’s.
So, I want to dedicate this final column to the Belles of Saint Mary’s Class of 2012.
Before I dive into the sentimental stuff, I must say thank you to all the Belles who made my job as Saint Mary’s Editor fantastic.
Due to your amazing accomplishments and your drive to make Saint Mary’s an even better community, you became the newsworthy events I so frantically searched for every week. I am so grateful that you shared your stories with me.
Now, if you’re like me, you’ve been crying at every little thing that reminds you of the dreaded “G” word, but I’ve found a song that comforts me every time I’m feeling sad to leave – Jason Mraz’s “93 Million Miles.” Go ahead, play it.
“Just know, that wherever you go, no you’re never alone, you will always get back home.”
I remember the first time I called Saint Mary’s home. It was an extremely strange feeling.
Until that moment, I had never called anything home other than the place where my family was.
Calling a college “home” was ridiculous to me. I’d only be spending four years here. How could one place suddenly transform into “home” in that short amount of time?
Then, I drove down The Avenue before my senior year, and that all changed.
The people of Saint Mary’s have encouraged me to grow these past four years, they have pushed me to succeed in all the ways possible and they have led me to discover the person I want to be.
Here, I have deepened my relationship with my own family, my friends and with God. Sure sounds like home to me.
“Sometimes it may seem dark, but the absence of the light is a necessary part.”
Now, after four years of finding a home here, we’re told we have to leave. Yet, people are strangely excited to see us go.
They have watched us grow and are now eager to see what we accomplish. Everyone is congratulating us, but the fear of leaving this place we know and the people we love hinders our celebration.
It’s a new, unknown chapter, but one that shows us just how much Saint Mary’s and the relationships we have formed here mean to us.
“People get ready, get ready, ’cause here it comes. It’s a light, a beautiful light, over the horizon into our eyes …”
But, have confidence knowing that the education you have received here has prepared you for anything you may have to face in life.
It may seem terrifying now, but know that you are strong, amazing women who are capable of doing amazing things and bringing beautiful light to anything you do.
So, when your name is called, walk across that stage proud – proud of yourself and your accomplishments these past four years, proud of your fellow Belles and proud that you have earned an education that has prepared you for this next step.
Most importantly, be proud and excited that once you receive that diploma, you become a member of a family that will always stand behind you and support you.
“Just know, you’re never alone, you can always come back home.”
Belles of 2012 … congratulations. You honestly and truly rock.

Caitlin Housley is graduating with a degree in Communications with a concentration in Mass Communication and minors in Public Relations, Advertising and Public Communication.
She would like to thank her parents for everything they’ve done for her, her Saint Mary’s sisters and Jimmy John’s (of course). She encourages everyone to let a smile be your nametag always. She can be reached at [email protected]
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.