COLUMN: My new Homecoming tradition

Michelle Day

This will be my fourth Homecoming on the Hill but the first time I’m making the most of it.

Homecoming is a perfect opportunity for students to do what the alumni do — to “come home” by reflecting on the past.

And as a senior, I’m finally doing that with a little self-evaluation.

To me, Homecoming is beautiful because it intersects the past with the present, the timeless with the trendy.

It’s an intentional mixing of former and current WKU students that displays where the university has been and where it’s going.

But despite their different perspectives, alumni and students connect by being a part of the same traditions and values that members of the WKU community know.

This spirit of reflection and sharing a common experience inspired me to examine myself before I become an alumna in May.

I have two definitions for the word home — the common, literal one and a metaphorical one. Metaphorically, home means a constant, an anchor. Wherever my career takes me, home includes the values that make me who I am.

I was a different person freshman year. I’d never lived abroad for more than a couple weeks. I’d never had a sip of alcohol or flown by myself. I’d also never skipped a class or been to a Division 1 football game. I’ve become a much better journalist, whose vocabulary contains quite a few more four-letter words.

I expect to change even more in the next four years than I changed in the last four. But each time I reflect, I hope certain values show up as threads flowing through each stage of my life.

I want to always be a person who strives to understand others’ perspectives. I never want to let fear stop me from pursuing a dream. I want to be the type of writer who uses her weaknesses to keep learning and her strengths to encourage others. I want to be able to say I experienced as much life as I could as an active participant in the world and not as a bystander.

Between the breakfasts and concerts, athletic events and dances, I encourage you to use Homecoming week as a chance for introspection. Remember where you have been. Predict where you’re going. Relate that to who you are, or who you want to be. This Homecoming, come home.