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By Carly Henry
Distinguished Young Woman of Pennsylvania for 2012

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Six months ago I left my childhood home.  Those first few weeks I was a little homesick, but then things began to change.  After a semester and a half of college, I no longer became homesick; because I am already home here at school.  Now, the house on Ironstone Hill Road that I grew up in is still my home, but I have a new one as well.  For, I have learned at least one thing from my college education—home is where your heart is.  It is a total cliché, but it is the truth!  I have discovered that home is not a house or a college; home is a million and one different things!  Here are some conclusions about what I now understand home to be:

A) Home is where you feel safe.  If I’m looking for some safety, I travel to my safe haven on top of a horse.  Believe it or not, having 1,000 pounds of animal beneath you can be pretty calming.  Since I learned to walk, horses have been my home away from home.

B) Home is wherever your bunch of crazies are (quote from Pinterest!).  We all have those crazy friends—those are your bunch of crazies!  As long as I have one of them by my side, I can conquer the world.  The same goes for my family.  They are a little quirky, but I love them dearly.  Without those crazies life would be dull.  I like to keep my friends and family close by because then I always feel at home.

C) Home is where your soul can smile.  I was raised in a lush valley in Pennsylvania, so rolling pastures, green forests, and starry nights put my soul at ease.  No matter where my life will take me, Pennsylvania will always hold a special place in my heart.

Home is a word that holds so much meaning for each individual.  Learning to make everywhere you travel a little bit like home, will make you beam from inside out.  Coming to college has taught me to roll out the welcome mat in each and every new place.  Because of this, I now look fearlessly into the future with high hopes of adventure because home will travel wherever I go.

 

Carly Henry is a college freshman at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania majoring in biochemistry with a minor is business. Originally from York, Pennsylvania, Carly was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Pennsylvania for 2012. Learn more about Carly here!

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