I am new here, but I call it home. Like the hundreds of other DePauw students who share my quadrangle, I am a first-year student. At the fragile age of eighteen I find my morals tested in the classroom, my better judgment tested in fraternities, and my ability to go with as little sleep as possible tested in Roy O. West Library. But more than what this university challenges me to, I am learning about myself and things much larger than myself as well. My community for example.
I have come to find that as I talk to parents and grandparents and they ask me “to come home,” it is beginning to sound more and more strange. Those places aren’t my homes; I live here, in my dorm room, in Greencastle. So, I reply, “I’ll visit as soon as I am able.”
Growing up in a divorced family, I suppose I should be used to the concept of having two or more homes – that is how it has felt for the past decade. But, living in Greencastle is different; this community seems to belong to me, much the same way I belong to it. Often times it shocks me to realize that I am much more connected to this community now than I was for the seven or more years I lived in Columbus, IN. Maybe it is the small-town charm that creates that impression. Maybe it is the community members who treat you as something so much more than a crazy college partier, or a museum intern, or a teenaged stranger.
Though students (myself included) often complain of the lack of “enjoyable things to do” in this town, I don’t look at it as a downfall. That may in fact be what makes this community so great. I want nothing more than to better Greencastle, but honestly, I think it is a pretty great place to live already. It would be my great honor to maybe within my next three years and summers here to be considered one of the infamous “townies.”