A Leap of Faith: The University of Central Oklahoma is Home

A quick search on the internet will tell you that home is defined as the place where one lives permanently as a family member or household member. After typing the words “home definition” on Google, this definition was found. That being said, an overthinker like myself would ask the following question: “if we go by this definition, do we as humans have a home?” –By Prateek Shetty

The answer to that question is a resounding yes. But the underlying thought which leads me to ask that question is the temporary nature of life in one place. A part of me sees my life as nomadic, having lived in three different countries over the past 24 years. I was born in the United Arab Emirates and lived there for 12 years with my parents and sister. I then moved to my hometown in India and lived with my grandmother for six years before I made the journey to the United States. At the time of writing this post, I am days away from marking the sixth anniversary of my time in the United States. In my time here, I have lived in two different states: namely Oklahoma and Colorado. My home for most of my time in the US has been Edmond and UCO. But after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Forensic Science from UCO, I moved to a town in Western Colorado named Avon and lived there for 10 months. I now find myself back at UCO as a graduate student and wouldn’t have seen that as a possibility this time last year.

But life’s circumstances have brought me back here, and I could not have been more relieved. I have had some struggles over the past year, which can be explored deeply on another day. Those struggles left me wanting to seek something familiar, and UCO was that for me. I know that I will not be here permanently, but I did not see myself going anywhere else to pursue a Master’s degree. The people I have met here, the exposure I have gotten as a student, and the experience I have had here have been rewarding. Why not return to where I was to find myself again?

Someone I admire once told me that getting lost is okay, and I couldn’t agree more. However, it is also important to create your own sense of self. UCO has helped me do that, and I couldn’t be more thankful. My time here taught me things I would have learned much later if I were back in India. Even though it has been a struggle at some points, I wouldn’t have it any other way. That said, life is what you make of it.

Similarly, your time at a place is what you make of it. If you are on the brink of deciding if you want to move away from home to study, take the leap of faith. UCO will be worth your time from the perspective of the human experience. Without hesitation, UCO is my home (for now, of course), and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.