Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

How to leave home without leaving who you are

I dreamed of spending this summer in the crowded streets of Boston, Manhattan, or San Francisco. I had mixed feelings returning to my home town of Fort Collins, Colorado to intern this summer. Fort Collins is a college town with ambition—a place with 165,000 residents, beautiful parks, mountain views, and a tight community. However, Fort Collins has a small fraction of the energy, hustle, and insanity of the cities that most 20-year-old wannabe entrepreneurs flock to. I could not help but feel as though returning home was a step backward from my busy Boston life.

Before coming home, my vision for this summer consisted of insane amounts of work, living between skyscrapers, having lots of coffee meetings, and rubbing shoulders with billionaires, VC’s, and entrepreneurial celebs. Instead, my summer has been spent sitting in a quiet office and rubbing shoulders with raft guides and fisherman instead of CEOs. Most of my summer weekends have been spent on tall mountain peaks or deep below canyon walls—places where you are alone, disconnected, and hundreds of miles away from the noise. And I would not have wanted it any other way.

The end of summer represents a moment of transition for many. Maybe you are moving away from home for the first time to start college at Babson or perhaps you are preparing to return for another year. Don’t get too absorbed in the excitement and ambition of the city. The city is a place filled with equal parts action and distraction. In the city, you can easily fall headlong over the cliff “Distracted from distraction by distraction.” Remember your home and embrace your past. Babson is an incredibly powerful community of individuals—many of whom have left their homes thousands of miles behind them to be here. Babson is a home to everyone but a first home to none. You do not have to be an imposter to start a new life in a new city or a new country. Embrace your past and identity and make it a meaningful part of your new life in Boston. Keep sacred the rituals, traditions, and habits that are part of life at home and do not sacrifice them for your “new life.”