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I moved to Austin four years ago for college. I came from a small town so everything seemed busy and exciting. I visited the state capitol for the first time and all of the other tourist sites. Studying in Austin was a dream come true. It’s a dream that I’m still living every day. And while most days I wake up and love where I am, other days I get another feeling—homesickness.

I used to feel homesick in the beginning, but in a different way. I wasn’t used to being away from my family for so long. But as time has progressed I have a new feeling of longing. Not only do I miss my family, but I miss my community.

I am from the Rio Grande Valley in Deep South Texas. There is a vibrant Hispanic culture present in so many aspects of daily life. Many of the town, street, and building names have Spanish origins. Raspa stands in every town are always serving up some crazy new frozen concoction. The Mexican food is amazing. Weekend trips to the flea market usually end with me carrying home a bag full of goodies. My town is as much a part of my Latina identity as my family ties.

Beyond that, there is a strong sense of community. Everyone knows everyone in one way or another. When a family’s home burns down, strangers pitch in to help with clothes and food. Walking past someone on the sidewalk usually calls for a wave or a smile even if you don’t know the person. My town is full of great people.

I don’t get to go home as much as I would like. I feel like distance has definitely made my heart grow fonder. I love Austin. I love the people I have met, the people I have seen, and the many more places I hope to go in the world. But there’s something great about home. I have learned to appreciate the place that I come from and the people that have helped me become the person I am today now that they are not around for me to lean on.

It helps to know that my hometown will always be there. I went home recently and a lot of new buildings had been built. Most of my old friends were still in their college town. But the love and compassion that fills the community remained the same. Now that I have been away for a while, I appreciate that so much more.

I think the place a person comes from is very important. Giving back to the community through service or any way you can is just continuing that cycle of caring. You don’t have to stay in the city or town you grew up in, but it will always be a part of you.

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Comment by Jackeline on February 28, 2015 at 11:10am

Yes! I think it is important to let our roots be a part of us that we can take along everywhere, it is something to be proud of. 


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