Location, Location, Location.
This is a mantra you could probably hear multiple times each day while searching for houses, talking to a real estate agent, or (if you’re me) binge-watching House Hunters on HGTV.
But this mantra also holds true when searching for colleges: location is key. You’re going to be living in this place for at least three-quarters of your year, even more if you take classes over the summer or stay for Intersession.
This mantra also has a similar cousin, whose importance I didn’t appreciate until this year: Distance, Distance, Distance.
In this case, this refers to the distance from Hopkins to home.
I’m from Massachusetts, and my house exactly 399 miles from my current room in Charles Commons. It takes roughly 8 hours to drive, 132 hours to walk, or just over an hour to fly.
To be frank, this semester has been stressful. I’m taking two math classes for the first time, along with a whole host of other classes that demand attention. After a particularly heinous week of multiple exams and a paper, I made the impulse decision to just get away for Fall Break.
This is something I never would have done last year.
Freshman me was worried about missing ~that party~ or being left out of the making of great ~college memories~ (FOMO? Is freshman FOMO FFOMO?). But now, in my old age and wisdom, I knew that mentally I just had to get away for a weekend.
Back to Boston I went, with plans to see my family, friends from high school, and camp friends, a change of scenery and pace that was much needed.
When I arrived back in Baltimore, I realized that Family Weekend was the following weekend and that my parents had made their travel plans WAY back in the day (August, to be exact.). While I had just seen them a few days before, I was more than happy to see them (and the apple crisp my mom brought) again this past Sunday. We went to DC, out to dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants in Baltimore, and had a grand ol’ time for ourselves.
I have always prided myself on being a ~strong, independent, woman~ (cue: this song. also this one). I never got homesick at camp as a kid and didn’t even need to go home for any weekends outside of the major breaks last year. But this year, I realized that it’s okay to be nineteen years old and need to hang out with your mom (s/o to my homegirl Brenda) and get a change of scenery every now and again.
That being said, I like to think of Hopkins as being “comfortably far” from home. It’s far enough away that my parents can’t just spontaneously stop by and throw off my groove but also close enough that I have the option to go home every now and again if need be.
Or if I need my mom’s apple crisp, which currently stares back at me every time I open my fridge. And has served as my breakfast for the past few days, a choice justifiable by the fact that I topped it with Greek yogurt, therefore making it healthy.