Cacophonous crowds, diverse cultures: Why UC feels like home to me

UC's campus and the nursing college gave me a different feeling than other schools

By: Kyle Lascano, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, '23; Nursing Student Ambassador

As I mindlessly click with my computer mouse, the LCD screen of my laptop whirrs and buzzes with its screen displaying "top ten best colleges to attend in Ohio." Sitting in my bedroom chair, it feels like I have been scrolling for hours through an innumerable passel of articles talking about which college campus has the best SAT scores or who has the best night life during the weekends; there is just no end to my search. Senior year of high school seems as daunting as ever with its extravagant proms, end-of-the-year exams, and the never-ending hunt for a university to attend.

Unlike most of my friends who were already admitted to their dream universities, I had no clue as to which university to attend during my senior year. The number of options to pick and choose from was overwhelming me and, quite frankly, there were other responsibilities as a teenager that I still had to think of. Despite all of this, college application deadlines were still walking their relentless march, and I was as hopeless as ever. In times of desperate measures, however, there was one person I could always count on: Mom.

My mother is someone I can speak with heart to heart as she stands behind my every decision. She is concise and stern, but she always finds a way to throw in a little humor in every discussion we have. With my family being from the urban streets of Manila, Philippines, with its thousands of denizens packing the streets to the brim and bustling pace of hustle, it is only logical for us to develop such a rapport despite our differing temperaments.

“Which college should I attend?” I ask her politely.

“The one where you feel right at home,” she says so briefly.

Judging from her statement, I knew that she wanted me to find a university that would make me feel welcomed and loved like I already was. I also knew that she wanted me to feel like I was at home — like really at home. I knew she wanted me to picture her presence like it was looming right above my head, nudging me to make the best and smartest decisions at college. I will say that it was to her benefit that I was safe and protected, which can be assumed to be the effect of the maternal instinct all moms have. Nevertheless, my perusing of college campuses led me to a visit to the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing.

While preparing myself for this college tour of UC, I step out of my car to have my senses meet and greet with familiar stimuli: the dampness of the morning dew is still lingering in the pavement, the parking garage flashes with its wide array of LED lights circling endlessly around every corner and that nostalgic noise of incessant car honking. "I'm in the city," I tell myself quite shockingly.

Every morning, I open my eyes to a horizon that twinkles with beauty and innovation while having a familiar closeness to it.

Kyle Lascano

The day flies by quickly, and I find that it is already afternoon. I take a quick visit through Procter Hall, the home of the College of Nursing, and eat a late lunch at a taco shop next door. Taking a pensive glance at my day while munching on a few delicious chicken tacos, I realize that my search is over. No longer did I have to keep filling out college applications to a million universities, reluctantly trying to join the ranks of their first-year students. I did not have to dedicate so much time anymore to writing different renditions of how I viewed my dog as a hero for my college essay. Only one clear thought in my mind: this is the college I wanted to go to.

After visiting so many different universities throughout my senior year of high school, this college gave me a different experience that I did not obtain from the others. The concrete jungles of Cincinnati were just like the ones in Manila. The atmosphere of loud cacophonous crowds and diverse cultures in every street corner piqued every ounce of interest that I had in my body. My curiosity fluttered back and forth as I explored the myriad of opportunities that presented themselves to me. Essentially, UC gave me acceptance and hospitality that I felt to have a certain quality of fondness that sat close with my life.

The world is a vast and expansive area of discovery, and for a youthful bright mind, all it takes to find that familiar piece of home is to look where one least expects it. Every morning, I open my eyes to a horizon that twinkles with beauty and innovation while having a familiar closeness to it. A place where I feel loved and welcome like my mother asked so long ago: that is where my college resides. It is here at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing that I find a place I will forever call home.

Kyle Lascano

Kyle Lascano/Lisa Ventre/UC Creative + Brand