By: Annie Sragner, Arts and Life Editor
The start of a new semester calls for us to leave our homes and migrate to campus for another round of sharpening up our book smarts and our street smarts. Whenever we leave the comfort zone of home, we enter new situations that provide opportunities to grow.
New semesters bring new classes, new professors and new peers into our lives that shape our experiences over the next four months.
Although we do much of our development through interactions with the outside world, our homes provide the foundation we rely on in order to grow. For example, the field of psychology teaches Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which explains how self-identity is built upon several solid stages of growth.
The initial stage represents physiological needs, such as having money, food, shelter and basic comfort.
Once this stage is taken care of, a person is then able to build upon that foundation and focus on the next stages, including the acceptance of others and new experiences, the ability to find confidence and control, the capacity to love and communicate with others, and finally, the connection to wisdom and ability to reach his or her full potential.
In essence, we must find security and establish peace within some sort of safe haven we call home in order to find comfort and sense within the world around us. A solid foundation is imperative in order to build something sturdy.
In society, the concept of home ripples into many of the ways we interact with others. Individuals who find a great deal of financial success are able to buy luxurious houses that provide more comfort at a higher price.
The social ranking system based on “who lives where” and “who drives what” suggests that those who accumulate more tangible goods are of a higher class and can live more comfortable lives.
In my experience, I have found that the comfort of home is more relevant to the people, not the things, which fill it. Certain items that carry sentimental value can bring about feelings of home, but home is more about the welcoming feeling you get when you walk in the door.
So, throughout this semester, apply your comfort of home to the life you live everywhere. Find ways to make your fundamental well-being a priority and focus your personal growth upon that.
If everyone gave themselves this level of kindness, we would undoubtedly find more collective peace and mutual understanding in the world around us.