Rediscovering a Love for Home

By Chelsea Beights, Senior, Art Studio

This spring semester has been one of the busiest of my college career. Between a full class schedule, multiple projects for my internship, planning a wedding, preparing for life after college, and attempting to get enough quality sleep to function, my agenda can begin to look like a Pollock painting. But even amidst the chaos, I always have a sense of grounding—although it took a weekend visit from a friend for me to really understand that feeling.

When my friend announced her vacation plans, I was both excited and terrified. I was exhausted. The thought of entertaining the entire weekend made me anxious, but looking back it was well worth it.

Saturday morning was spent driving around the Mansion Park neighborhood, the residential area adjacent to Bidwell Mansion. As I gushed over the adorable, well-kept houses in the area and described the history of General Bidwell and his association with Chico State, my friend turned to me and said, “You sure are proud of your town.”

She is entirely correct—I love Chico.

This proclamation was cemented when we arrived at the 38th Annual International Festival on campus. A flurry of vibrant colors, striking dance moves, and powerful live music filled the Glenn Lawn as students, faculty, staff, and community encouraged the spectacle. Toddlers, teenagers, and adults alike were enjoying the company of the community and its accepting nature of diverse ideas, concepts, and cultures.

This past weekend I fell in love with Chico once again, and reaffirmed the stability that I encounter from living in this community. My friend’s visit was a perfect reminder of the beauty and authenticity that resonates throughout this beautiful city of ours.

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