By Diego Garcia SEAHEC, guest blogger, University of Notre Dame
January 12, 2018
I left my home today. This time around was much more difficult to leave my family, friends, and girlfriend. I’m not sure if leaving the first time did not weigh on me as much since I was excited to begin a new chapter, or if this time after being gone for so long I realized just how much I had missed home and the small things like my bed, my mom’s home-cooked meals, and the delightful weather.
Today was tough. This last week in Nogales I repeated to myself over and over that I did not want to leave the comfort of my home. I’m happy at Notre Dame, and I miss my friends and life over there, but home is truly where the heart is and its hard leaving it for an extended time.
Goodbyes are the worst. Knowing that you won’t see the special people in your life for months is tough. It is at the moment you last see them, the moment you have that last kiss, hug, or blessing that all your feelings culminate and explode into tears.
Since I was a kid I would tell my mom I would leave home as soon as I had the chance. I’ve always wanted to explore the world outside of Nogales. I’ve always dreamed big and had large aspirations. I always wanted to leave Nogales and Arizona for college and medical school. Now, it even weighs on me to apply to summer programs, for I know I will be away from home again.
Yet, as I leave with heavy eyes, I can’t help but think of a quote my dad frequently brings up. I repeat to myself, “be able to sacrifice who I am today for who I can become tomorrow.” This quote has driven me my entire life; it now gives me that extra push I currently need as I look back in the mirror at a distant Nogales. Sacrifices are needed in order to accomplish one’s goals and aspirations. Leaving home is tough, but I know that by doing so I am investing in my future. It is crucial for me and for anyone in my situation to understand that the sacrifices one makes today will repay him/her greatly in the long run.
Leaving the small town of Nogales may be tough, but remember you are investing in your future as you do so. During no other point in our lives will we be presented to so many opportunities to learn and explore the world. Take advantage of these, for they may not present themselves to you ever again. You may have to leave Nogales, but it and your family will be there waiting for you as you make them proud from afar.