By Jay Tram ’20
It’s late April now, meaning it’s time to wrap up another school year and go home. The question is, what home can I go back to? As an international student, home has always been a challenging, yet exciting, topic to touch on. It’s the location, the culture, the living opportunities, and the people that make it so interesting. But the whole topic regarding home, can be laid out in another article. This time, I’ll talk only about missing my home at the Santa Fe campus.
I transferred to Annapolis after my freshman year in Santa Fe and have stuck with East Coast life since then. There are many reasons why I stay in Annapolis. I want access to big cities like D.C., New York, etc. that Annapolis provides; I like to see many people on a daily basis; I want to be mobile. Simply put, I am happy with everything the Annapolis campus offers, from the historic vibe to the elegant geographic location to its involved student body.
Santa Fe, our sister campus, didn’t offer the exact environment that I was looking for. That’s why I left, but I left with sheer love and appreciation for the Santa Fe campus. The last night I spent there, the night my friends drove me to the airport to catch my flight to Vietnam (my home country) at 3:00 AM, was the night I called that “land of enchantment,” Santa Fe, home.
Anyone who has been to Santa Fe can tell you that you don’t leave without having fallen in love with it. My life in Santa Fe started with the disappointment of how quiet it was (I know, it was my bad to expect that the Southwest would be as noisy as NY!), but its peacefulness made up for the quiet: the birds chirping, the koi fish sun bathing, the happy sound of accordions, the hiking trails leading to the wilderness, and the smells of fresh air, grass, and wildflowers. There is no reminder of the busy world that you departed before going to Santa Fe. Campus residents seem to leave everything behind except for their smiles, great hearts, and their interest in living an intellectual life.
My first experience with the Great Books Program was struggling through the Iliad, but very soon I was offered help studying by a friend of mine. We have stayed close friends, despite years and physical distance. I manage to keep my friendships with friends and faculty members from Santa Fe because even though we’re on two different campuses, we hope to achieve the same things at the college.
Today, as summer is approaching and I know I’m not visiting Santa Fe any time soon, I have begun to miss it. I recall many beautiful memories I made with my friends there. It’s the past but feels present and everlasting because it’s home. Now, saying I miss Santa Fe from Annapolis is like saying I long to be home while being at home. Living in more than one place and being able to call both home is a privilege, and I thank St. John’s for that!