Xavier, my home far away from home

Luke Feliciano is a senior sports management and digital media double major. He is the Sports News Editor for the Newswire from Rutherford, NJ. He has been a part of Newswire for four years. 

Some four and a half years ago I made a life-altering decision, the good kind. For the first time in 18 years, I planned on living somewhere far from home. 

Cincinnati was uncharted territory for me — I had never visited the Queen City before and it is a 10 hour car ride from my humble New York suburban abode back in New Jersey. It was a trek I hoped to be fruitful, one that would grant me with brand new experiences and opportunities. 

And while many of the events I have looked forward to for years have come to an unexpected conclusion, the overall mission still has not diminished. I always planned on making these four years worth it, and they have been. 

The experiences I have gained, both positive and negative, are ones that I will never forget. In this sense, Xavier has better prepared me for life after school. In many ways, Xavier has evolved into my home away from home and I have a strong desire to make Cincinnati my permanent home. 

I never imagined things would be this way — me, sitting here at my off-campus house as a second semester senior under these circumstances. Honestly, it all feels surreal, but in these hard times, I can’t help but think about how much Xavier has meant to me and has done for me.

Perhaps one of the biggest motivational forces in me coming to Xavier was for the Jesuit education. Small class sizes, an individual approach and a liberal arts education certainly intrigued me.

My father went to a Jesuit high school and college and always talked to me about how it has shaped him as a person. I was going to attend the same Jesuit college preparatory school, but instead attended my local public high school. 

Not wanting to pass up on my last opportunity to see what it was all about, I applied to Xavier.  While I originally dismissed many of these notions in the past, it’s finally starting to click exactly what he was trying to instill in me. 

As a result of my profound experiences in the classroom, I can take with me values that will last a lifetime. Xavier has taught me how to think deeper, look at situations from multiple angles and perspectives and how to respect the opinions and thoughts of others. 

Better yet, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting like-minded professors and students who will impact me greatly as my post-college career is approaching its beginning. 

In the end, maybe I won’t be able to hang out with all of my friends for the back half of my final semester here, nor will I ever sit for an in-person class ever again, but that still doesn’t overshadow the personal growth I have achieved in my time here. 

And for that, I can thank Xavier.