As I write this I am on the bus home for spring break. It is a long journey; approximately six or seven hours provided that there isn’t a “Greyhound Catastrophe.” Going home is a strange thing, because all of a sudden you have the good fortune of having two homes and two families. The first time I went home was almost a surreal experience. It was weird to go back to a place that was once my home 24/7, but is now my home only about four months out of the year. The first time you see your parents after going away to school is great. There is this renewed feeling of family and love between everyone, but there is something so familiar about walking up the porch steps into your own home. Once you’re inside it’s like you never left, the same couch is across from the same TV, the same cats are sleeping on Mom’s bed, and my room is as I remember it. My bed is perfectly made (because my Mom wouldn’t have it any other way), my pictures still hang on the wall (except for a few I brought with me), and my dusty books are still on the shelf. After I left for college I had a horrible feeling that everything at home disappeared and would no longer exist. Once I got over this very selfish fear in realizing that Rhode Island would be there whether I was there or not, just like my family, and my house, and my room.
Now as I travel back home I realize that I have come to appreciate my home, family, and town much more than I did seven months ago. For instance, I miss my Mom asking me ten million times what I am doing after school, or I miss my Dad waking me up on Saturday morning at eight just to annoy me, or I miss the sound of my Brother’s lacrosse ball banging against the wall that links our bedrooms late at night. I miss all the things I thought I would never miss. So as you make your decisions about where to go to school remember to never forget the feeling of living at your house. Because that feeling will comfort you time after time, whether you’re in your unpacked dorm room, or sitting with a group of strangers at a dining hall. And don’t worry; this is all a good thing. It’s good to get out, to experience new things and meet new people-and this is coming from the biggest homebody in the Northeast. After the first two weeks you will find the people who will be your closest friends, they are the ones that will create your new family away from home. Your dorm room will eventually begin to feel like your place, your sanctuary, even if it may only be ½ or 1/3 of a room. How will you know when everything has fallen into place? It’s when you begin to refer to the dorm as your home; it’s when you no longer think twice about what you’re saying or how you’re acting around people. Ultimately, it’s when you are finally being your familiar self, in a very unfamiliar place.