Home Is Where the Heart Is, and I Have Found It at Delaware Valley University
Posted on November 21, 2016 by Taylor Edgington '18.
My house is located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. My family and I live in a one-story ranch, surrounded by spacious fields and dense forests. Our house is just large enough to support a family of five: two parents with three children. Its exterior walls are a soft dandelion yellow and are matched with a carmine red roof. When I open the front door, the smell of my mother’s cinnamon candles floats through the air. Home is a place of peace and comfort. When thinking about going to college and pursuing undergraduate degree programs, I often wondered: At DelVal, how will I feel at home when I am so far way?
My question was answered within the first week of exploring campus and diving into my biology degree. The college is shrouded with the natural feeling of life and vigor. Such a quality is hard to find with other universities and undergraduate degree programs. With Lake Archer only a few minutes from my residence hall, I found comfort within the glittering water of the lake’s fountain. Frequently, I'd sit and watch the small bluegills dart in and out of the shadows. Quaint paths meander around the lake and trek through campus. Walking down the pathway, I'd often look up through the tree branches as the rays of sunlight twinkled through.
When outdoors, the natural surroundings excite me—there is an abundance of life on campus. From the chattering of students sunbathing on the quad as they discuss their various undergraduate degree programs to the furry, gray squirrels climbing in the trees. Walking away from the lake, into the heart of campus, I am welcomed by the same comfort. Beautiful magenta flowers decorate the trees bordering my path, like tiny sprinkles on a rich dark chocolate cupcake.
The academic buildings are tucked into the surrounding vegetation, but their beauty is not hidden. Some of the buildings, like Allman, are converted homes. Their appearance intensifies the feeling of walking through a quaint little village. With doors wide open, I enter the home and find my classroom. I sit with my family as we all enjoy the atmosphere of our eye-opening undergraduate degree programs. I am able to call my fellow students family because we have all gotten to know each other fairly well. I am comfortable enough to be outspoken during class discussions, sharing my opinions with other open-minded students and professors.
When not in the classroom, my friends typically join me in exploring the rest of campus and checking out the other buildings that hold the various undergraduate degree programs. We especially like walking down to the barns. I found the equine barn to be very intriguing. I have walked by it numerous times, awaiting the day I will get to enter. Lush green horse pastures surround the barn. The horses graze contently, their dappled coats glistening in the sun. I have ridden many horses in my past and hope to one day ride on campus.
There is one horse in particular that made me feel at home just by seeing her. She was a gorgeous strawberry roan Appaloosa. Her temperament was that of a mother, loving and protective. I could picture myself riding her out into the fields. The scenery changed as my imagination captivated me. From the perspective of her back, I could see farther and ride faster. The field became a racetrack. I could gallop around its perimeter; maybe even outrun the wind! I was free from all worldly bindings. It did not matter if I was truly on her back, but seeing such beautiful animals enjoying life allowed me to enjoy my own. Walking on the path, past the barns, I was home.
When starting in one of the many undergraduate degree programs, I encourage other students to unbind their thoughts of home as being within a house and open themselves to the endless possibilities waiting out in nature. Home can be anywhere on this Earth, and one must only welcome and accept it. My new home on campus allowed me a few hours of not having to worry about approaching deadlines or the pressuring expectations of pursuing undergraduate degree programs. My home has been with nature, animals, family, and friends—all of which I've found on campus at Delaware Valley University. With this philosophy, I will never be without the comforting memories of my home because nature is found in the simplest of places, and DelVal is filled with wonderful bliss.