When people ask me if I miss home, I’m always quick to respond “no.” Sure, there’s nothing like my Mom’s food and sleeping on the couch on a lazy Sunday, but leaving is what I wanted to do. I was excited—and still am—to experience life in a different city, in a different area of the United States, filled with different people. It’s exhilarating to be independent and to be clueless about my new surroundings. I’m forced to go out and explore and make Baltimore my new home, and it’s been an incredible experience!
But now, it’s Fall Break. Since I’m from Missouri, I didn’t think it was a good idea to go back home for a 3-day weekend, so I told my parents I would be fine and that Thanksgiving couldn’t come soon enough. In the days approaching Fall Break, most of my friends talked excitedly about going home, hanging out with friends, and also catching some z’s, and I found myself becoming jealous (Though I’m not going to lie to you—I woke up at 5 PM on Saturday. Hello 15 hours of sleep!). On Friday evening, after I said bye to everyone in my suite, I sat on my bed and realized just how jealous I was. All of the small bits and pieces of my homesickness got the better of me, and I found myself wishing more than anything else that I could hop(kins?) on a plane and go home.
I miss the smell of warmth and coziness that hits me when I walk into our house. I miss the sound of laughter/sassy arguments of my family, the constant questioning of whether I ate enough by my mom, and the hum of the washing machine because someone is always doing laundry. I miss my parents and I watching The Voice, and my late-night marathons of Friends and pre-bedtime giggling with my sister. I miss the hugs I get from my mom and dad when I’ve encountered a tough exam or am just having trouble finding the motivation to start studying.
I miss the goofiness of my best friends and our impromptu trips to get FroYo (No but seriously, FroYo is the best, I’m currently searching for an equivalent in Baltimore). I miss reading each other’s minds and communicating solely with silly faces. I miss the way we all end up with matching or similar clothes even though we don’t plan it out.
And missing everything this much is hard. When I feel stressed out I wish I could talk to more than just the voice of my mom or dad. When I want to catch up with a friend from home I wish it wouldn’t be interrupted by a slow Internet connection. But even though it can be difficult at times, I can’t complain. One of my best friends got to visit me this weekend, which was amazing! What’s more, staying back here with a couple of friends that also live far away, helped me realize how great of a community I have here at Hopkins. I didn’t think it would be so easy to build friendships with so many people, but now, we’re a little family who worries about and takes care of each other. I even found people to go crazy over Cardinals games with (Sorry I had to fit that in here and rep St. Louis. Also, may I say that the Cardinals are KICKING BUTT).
So even though FaceTiming my Mom makes me want to count down the days to Thanksgiving Break, living here has been and continues to be a dream come true, and I know that I have my own little support system here, making it feel even more like my home away from home. (Cue Philip Philips).