What Makes Gettysburg a Home?

Stine Hall (By Aly Wein/The Gettysburgian)

Stine Hall (By Aly Wein/The Gettysburgian)

By Gracie Meisner, Contributing Writer

For many college students, finding a sense of “home” on campus is no easy task.

Indeed, the concept of home looks different for everyone. Whether it’s a place, a person, or an intangible feeling, home is a sense of comfort and belonging. For Michael Allessi ’25 and Gabbi Lombardi ’25, the people make a place a home.

“It’s going to sound cheesy, but home to me is wherever family is, and wherever I feel most comfortable and loved,” said Allessi.

“I’ve moved around quite a bit my whole life because of the nature of my dad’s job,” said Lombardi. “Right now, Singapore feels like home. Not just because it’s the last place I lived, but because it’s where I made the strongest connections with my friends.”

For others, home is a physical location where one consistently spends time.

“For me, home is where I sleep at night,” said Toni Esquivias ’25. “If I’m sleeping in a place consecutively, it becomes home for me, because it’s the place I rest.”

While every student at Gettysburg College experiences the transition to college in a different way, there is no doubt that life on campus is different than before, especially in regard to finding a sense of belonging. Often, the initial change of leaving behind familiarity leaves students missing that sense of home they knew previously.

“Here, there is freedom and room for you to grow as an individual and find what suits you best” – Morgan Krepp ’24

“What I miss most is my family,” said Liam Nelson ’25. “I’ve never been separated from them this much in my life, so it’s an adjustment. I miss my mom’s cooking, and places in my town, and my friends. I miss having my own room, bathroom, and a little more space than I have here.”

“I miss being with all my friends and really knowing the land of Singapore like the back of my hand,” said Lombardi. “It’s definitely much, much bigger here. Singapore is a very small island. You can get from one side of the island to the other in 45 minutes by car. So it’s very different.”

The transition to feeling at home on campus might not happen overnight, and it’s normal to experience intense emotions. Being in a new place surrounded by new people can be exhilarating and incredible, but it can also be lonely and isolating, and that’s okay.

Moving first-year students into their new home (Photo Aly Wein/The Gettysburgian)

Moving first-year students into their new home (Photo Aly Wein/The Gettysburgian)

Kayla Tursack ’25 sees being on her own as both a positive and challenging aspect of her transition to Gettysburg College.

“I’m on my own, and so I don’t have my parents to help me stay on top of things. But I like being on my own and it feels right to me now. I feel comfortable going back to my room and getting some space,” said Tursack.

Transfer student Morgan Krepp ’24 believes that a positive aspect of her new home at Gettysburg College is the opportunity to grow and develop as an individual in a new environment.

“Here, there is freedom and room for you to grow as an individual and find what suits you best,” said Krepp. “You have the opportunity to find the friends you want to have, and discover where your priorities lie.”

Ultimately, while students are at different points in their transitions to college life, many feel they will eventually be able to call Gettysburg College a true home.

“For me, Gettysburg and home are two very different situations,” said Allessi. “But even in the short time I’ve been here, I’ve began to feel more comfortable, which is typically something I associate with a feeling of home.”

“At home I have my friends and family, but I’ve been able to find that same sense here,” said Nicole Cesanek ’24.

She added, “I think what’s different is that at home, friends and family are separate, but since you live with your friends here, they become your family.”

This article originally appeared on page 11 of the September 24, 2021 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine. 

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Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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