Moving on

Moving on

Jake Keeley

You see them on social media, posing for pictures. They look so carefree, so happy. You hear bits of information about them every now and then, whether they’re dating someone new or perhaps they bought a new car. For a split second you consider trading places with them. Then you reconsider.

You keep tabs on these people, just as you keep tabs any other celebrity. However this isn’t an ordinary celebrity, this is, or should I say, was, a local celebrity. This is the quarterback, the prom queen and the point guard. These people ruled the high school; they stood shoulder to shoulder with you.

The only problem is when everyone sets their clocks back an hour for daylight saving time, they set theirs back to senior year of high school. Unfortunately, these people plateaued. Whether they see it or not, the best time of their life is far behind them. However, you still feel love for these people, even partly responsible. Well, here is your chance to face them, because you’re coming home, LeBron James style.

After exchanging pleasantries, it’s time to get some depth into the conversation. Does it seem to be forced? Yes. Is it actually forced? Yes. While you have been away encountering different things, taking on different challenges, they have been in their basement, playing the newest video game.

But I thought so much had changed? New car, new girlfriend, right? Sure. But in the grand scheme of things nothing has changed for them. Some of these people are working the same job they did in high school, others got a factory job.

You think to yourself, “They make more than I do, they have hardly any expenses. Must be nice.” Then you catch yourself. You do some quick math, you wouldn’t be able to live that lifestyle. Even if fiscally you could, mentally you could not. It goes without saying that work is a grind, however the ability to control your own destiny is something that you should not take for granted.

Whether you want a career in politics, statistics, or education, you have the ability to pursue it. With each passing semester, each class and each credit hour, your potential increases. At this point you began to realize what an opportunity you have at college.

Going home is a great time to remember this. Sure, you fall into old habits, binging on zombie killing until your eyes are red. But suddenly, you don’t want to do this anymore. I often catch myself walking laps around my house, periodically checking Blackboard, simply because there is not enough for me there. This is what returning home provides.

Homesickness is a real thing, but almost what’s more important is the motivation you receive when you return home. You remember exactly why you wanted to go away to college. You must understand that while I have somewhat assimilated into the West Michigan culture, just like many other students, neither Allendale nor Grand Rapids is home for me, and while they’ve served admirably as a second home, that is exactly what they are, a second home.

While Allen Park, Michigan raised me, Grand Valley State University is making me. My time served in both places has been invaluable, and I am reminded of that every time I return home.