Welcome Home: How EWU altered my concept of ‘home’

By Nicole Ruse, Editor-in-Chief

When I first came to Eastern Washington University, without a clue about what I wanted to pursue, I remembered something my adviser in high school told me: No matter what university you get accepted into and attend, the only things that matter are what you make of it and what the university represents to you.

At that moment, I didn’t truly understand what my adviser meant. All I knew as a freshman was that I wanted to make friends and be accepted.

Coming to Eastern opened my eyes to possibilities I didn’t even know I had.

In my last three years at EWU, I’ve made great friends and have been accepted with open arms into various clubs and organizations, The Easterner being one I honor dearly to this day. I have made the most of my time here and have continued to grow as a student and mentor on the Eastern campus.

Moving away from my home in Seattle was extremely difficult, however. Homesickness would wrap around my shoulders like a wet blanket, and there were days I would call my father just to have someone to talk to if I felt alone. I knew, and still know, that I will always have a home in Seattle where my family and close friends live.

Yet, I also made Eastern my home.

To me, a home is defined as a location, a place of residency with immense significance in regards to growth, love and acceptance. The symbolism of a home is surrounded by the idea of nostalgia with past memories and younger times that have shaped you into the person you are today.

I can say, without a doubt, that Eastern has definitely done that for me in more ways than one. I started my first job, ever, here at The Easterner as a copy editor, not knowing what to expect or what I would be able to gain from this job. I questioned whether college was the right fit for me as a first-generation student and contemplated whether a college path was even what I wanted.

I took a lot of risks while being here at EWU, from my first job to which degree I wanted to obtain.

I call Eastern Washington University my second home because I can look back at my time as a young college student and see how much I have grown here, including at The Easterner. Through all the ups and downs of being a student and being away from my family in Seattle, I found acceptance and love here on the EWU campus.

Remembering my adviser’s words of wisdom has made me understand what a “home” means after all these years of being at EWU. My home is here on the brick pathways through the campus mall, walking the streets of Cheney and seeing how far I’ve come on my journey through college.

By making the most of my time here, regardless of location, I made Eastern my second home. Eastern represents all my growth, lessons learned and has shaped me into the woman I am today.

Whether you’re a freshman moving from the west side of Washington, just like I did three years ago, or a transfer student from another state – or even another country – EWU can be an accepting place if you are willing to make the most of your time here.

And to you, readers: I hope you find comfort on Eastern’s campus and make it your home away from home, too. Be open to change and always grasp opportunities of growth as they arise.

Welcome home, Eagles. Cheers to another year!