I'm sitting in Reagan National Airport, waiting for a flight that will take me back to Middlebury for the third time since I graduated in May 2009. It's different this time, though. For the last six years, Middlebury has been my only alma mater, my one and only college, and now I suddenly find myself faced with the strange reality of having to learn to love another. I almost want to apologize to Middlebury for accepting Cornell's offer. I feel like I'm betraying the school that made me who I am.
It's a ridiculous thought, of course. Were it not for Middlebury, I wouldn't have been offered a spot at the Johnson School. I'm following in a long tradition of undergrads pursuing advanced degrees at other institutions. Many of my friends have already done so in their respective fields. But the first time I pull on a Cornell sweatshirt or cheer for Big Red at a hockey game or, God forbid, go on the air with the Cornell Radio Theater of Thrills & Suspense (Cr|Tots doesn't sound right), it's going to feel uncomfortable.
This will change over time. I will one day be able to accept that I am a part of two different academic communities, and will be able to love both in equal measure. But Middlebury will always be my first love and will always have my loyalty. Middlebury will always be home.