Community on campus: Home is where your dorm is

Ah, Xavier. A place the country sees as a “basketball school.” The place that the state of Ohio sees as that other school in Cincinnati, but still not Ohio State. The place people from my home state of Tennessee see as a question: “Now, where is that?” But what I see, and hopefully what everyone reading this sees, is a place none other than home.

I had a weird happening this past month. I went back to my parents’ house in Cottontown, Tenn., for a week or so after my internship. I was packing up my car, ready to come back to school. Once I finished packing the last of all the junk I had lugged with me, I looked at my car and said out loud, “Ready to go home.” Just so you know, those are not the words a stereotypical southern mother wants to hear when her young­est son is leaving to go off for his senior year of college. My mom shed a tear at that point, and I apol­ogized to her for saying that. She stopped me. She looked at me and said, “No. I couldn’t have asked for a better place than Xavier for you to call another home.”

So there is that. It’s fall 2014. Next year is 2015. I’m the class of 2015. Crap, that means I graduate.

mcgrath headshot
Joe McGrath is a fourth-year Business Sustainability major from Cottontown, Tenn.

Looking back on the last three years, I like to see where I have come from and how Xavier has become home to me. Firstly, I just wanted to meet people. I am the type of person who will talk to a wall if it’s willing to listen, and Xavier has a lot of build­ings. Honestly though, people that come to Xavier are people who I want to talk to. I can walk up to just about anyone and have a genuine conversation about ev­erything from class to Xavier bas­ketball to the lines in the caf.

Secondly, Xavier has offered so many things to get involved with throughout the year, and during my freshman first year at Xavier I took full advantage of that. The number of meetings and pro­grams I went to and participated in my first year was uncountable.

Finally, come end of sophomore year and into junior year, I nar­rowed that down to the things I truly enjoy. If you know me, you know I spend a lot of my time out of class in the Center for Faith and Justice (CFJ) or around Coffee Emporium. The CFJ has become my home on campus, a place that I can go into and talk with any of the staff for 20 or 30 minutes. And while Coffee Emporium is my place of employment, it’s a place of community also. With my passion for food and sustainabil­ity, Coffee Emporium is a place you can always find me.

With all that being said, if you haven’t caught on, I am a huge fan of our home, Xavier University. Xavier has lined me up to do great things. With the help of the new sustainability program, I have been able to turn my passions into a potential ca­reer. Through the amazing net­working oppor­tunities I have had and through different con­nections I have made at this amazing school, I hopefully will have a career plan in the spring.

To close, I freaking love this place and everyone in it. Let’s just keep making Xavier a new home for everyone, because like my mama said, we couldn’t have asked for a better place to become our second home.