Finding where I belong

Finding where I belong

Photo by Trisha Handrich.

Photo by Trisha Handrich.

Last school year, I questioned my decision to attend Goshen College a lot.

After graduating from high school, I had registered as a freshman at Bluffton University and attended orientation there. But then, halfway through the summer, I decided to go to Goshen.

I struggled a lot last year as a freshman away from home and family. I struggled with trying to budget my time and energy efficiently so I wouldn’t get physically and emotionally worn out.

By the end of the year, when my mom came to help me move home, I was “in over my head” and had no energy left to clearly evaluate my year here. I was just ready to pack up and forget about college for a while.

When it was time to come back in the fall, I had gone back and forth in my mind, and officially with admission offices at Goshen and Bluffton as to where I wanted to return in the fall. Finally, I chose Goshen.

But first, we had to stop in at Bluffton to pick up a refrigerator and microwave. When we stopped at Bluffton overnight, I got to hang out with my best friend from home and stay in his room (he was supposed to be my roommate when I planned to go to Bluffton as a freshman).

Bluffton seemed like a great place. I regretted not choosing to go there. In the morning, I somehow convinced my mom to let me stay at Bluffton and re-enroll. This year I spent my first semester at Bluffton University.

After being away from Goshen, I was able to see clearly what I had valued in my college experience previously and what Goshen offered me.

Here at Goshen, I find a community that is not judgmental of me or my beliefs or ideas. I know that I am cared for by friends and strangers alike by their openness to say hi to me or start conversation over a meal in the Rott or ‘Fraker. I am comfortable with faculty because I like how many of them know me personally by name and how some check in with me to see how I am doing even when I am not taking their classes. I feel free to ask honest, hard questions related to both my academics and my faith.

From this past semester I have learned to be content with what I have, rather than looking for greener grass somewhere else. I encourage anyone facing a difficult decision to take time to evaluate your situation, your values and your goals. Consider the good you already have before trying to change anything.

Eli Passage is a sophomore communication major from Lancaster, Pa.

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