Hi, guys! Virginia here! As y’all already know, I’m from Houston, Texas – about 1,500 miles away from the District. CUA has students from all over the States (and the world!) and I love that aspect of being a Catholic U. student! However, being a plane ride away from Texas, there are no quick trips home for the weekend to get a Texas-style, home cooked meal, unless I want to pay a pretty penny. But I truly wouldn’t have my college experience any other way. My college experience going so far from home has allowed me to learn about responsibility, whether in the simple duty of finally bringing myself to pay up $15 for those Tide Pods that get me through the semester, or dealing with difficult classes—I’ve been able to adjust and have learned to love the independence.
One of my absolute favorite aspects of going away from home for college is getting to experience a completely different culture. Although a large population of the student body is from these United States of America, there are some really subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) differences between the cultures of my classmates. And believe it or not, they do some things differently up here in the District! The differences between my fellow students from up North, the East Coast, way down South, the Midwest, and even West range from mere language differences (N.B.: y’all), to different fast-food spots or grocery stores. For example, back home I get Shipley’s Donuts; over here it’s Dunkin Donuts. In Texas, our go-to gas station stop on a road trip is Bucc-ee’s; up here, it’s WaWa. Experiencing these differences has made my time at Catholic all the more fun, especially when a friend invites me to their home state for a long weekend.
Another favorite memory of mine has occurred over the past two Easter Breaks. For the second year in a row, I have stayed here on campus with some of my classmates and friends who come from all over the country and the world. It doesn’t always make the most sense to fly home for every break, and staying on campus this year meant I was to hit up the Cherry Blossom Festival and swing by the monuments lit up at night! There was no rush to be anywhere at any time, so we spent hours upon hours in the city. And when it was time to go to the Easter Vigil Mass, we walked all gussied up to the Basilica and sat at the front of the sanctuary, ready to celebrate with all our friends—as well as all those watching on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
While there are definitely times that I miss being home and hanging out with my family (and dog!), I appreciate the opportunities that the distance affords me studying in the District, and I appreciate the time spent when I am home enjoying my family and all the things Texas has that DC doesn’t. Joining the Catholic U. family was the best decision I ever made. Now more than ever I value the little things that I have at home that I don’t have here all the more, and I love having new experiences that I don’t when I’m home in Texas. The college experience can be incredible, no matter where you study. It’s just a matter of finding a home away from home, and CUA is mine!
PS. Check out one of the photos I grabbed before Easter Vigil Mass at the Basilica, which happens to be right next to CUA’s campus!