Please play this as background music while you read this blog.
Like any self-described lazy bum, I love a good break. I will take any excuse to step away and pamper myself and be lazy and do absolutely nothing—especially when that break relieves me from a paper/Latin homework set/film editing. I purposely, exclusively complete my work in the Brody Café because friends are always passing by to grab coffee, giving me a quick break from whatever work I’m staring at. Taking little breaks is the only way to stay sane.
And then, the real-life, school-sanctioned breaks come along. There’s Fall Break (that’s a 3 day weekend, so totally not legitimate), but then the first real break rolls around in late November… Thanksgiving Break. Luckily, this year Hopkins granted us a whole week off, which, for me, meant a whole week of lazing around like a bum. Perfect.
But—as much as this lazy bum loves reclining on a couch with a Tupperware of cookies and marathon seasons of Ink Master, it is a little unsettling. Just as I relax and cozy in at home, I realize that there’s just something off about being a college student visiting home. It’s hard to articulate at first, but then I began to dissect all of the things that are so different about being home….
Food In case you’ve never read my blog before, I really like food. This doesn’t seem like it should be weird, but when I’m used to having to walk to my food and swipe a card for my food, suddenly having a whole pantry and fridge is really terrifying—awesome, but terrifying. How am I supposed to decide between croissants and biscuits? Blueberries or apples? And, oh my god, I can cook on a real gas stove and in a real huge oven? There are too many options. The food is way too accessible. Unsurprisingly, this translates into me—queen of indecision—pulling a porque no los dos? and binge eating every item in the house. It’s not just the Thanksgiving dinner that does a number on me. I lose weight at school because I’m too lazy to go get food all the time, but when a gourmet meal is just steps away…
Driving My mom and I have a joke that whenever she goes to pick my brother and I up from school, we spend the whole car ride back home with our windows cracked and our heads between our knees. At school, I’m totally not used to being in a moving vehicle, and then once break rolls around, I have to pop some Tums and brace myself for the carsickness. Then slowly I work my way to driving myself around during break, but each time I get into my car, I have to physically check which is the break and which is the gas. Some people say that driving is like riding a bike; it all comes back naturally, no matter how long it’s been. I disagree. I definitely get rusty. Clear the roads.
Work Even though it’s Break, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a break from the work. So have fun stuffing textbooks next to sweaters in the suitcase for home. While I do prefer completing work next to a cozy fire with my dog, it’s really weird to think that I’m used to completing the same assignment in a library surrounded by my over-caffeinated, over-achieving peers. Also, parents will inevitably ask what the work is, which only leads to a sort of miscommunicated confusion when they’re wondering why on Earth a professor assigned me a textbook about comics to read.
My Room Mom removed the tchotchkes on the bookshelf. Maybe the treadmill moved in. The bed is in the middle of the room instead of against the wall. And—say what—my room is now a tasteful dove gray instead of bright yellow?
Chores Because no matter how excited Mommy and Daddy are to see their little college student, someone has to take out the trash and feed the cat.
TV & Wifi I’m a huge TV nerd, as mentioned, and if Heaven exists, it is a Universal remote and unlimited channels. So, thank you Home, for having plenty of comfy couches and more televisions than any empty nesters need. I forgot the beauty of being able to go on my laptop while watching TV. Double screen for the win. And, hello, crazy-strong Wifi signal. Hello, super weird Wifi password (calmsky481?). Hello, Wifi not struggling with the traffic of 5,000 undergrads. Home is where the Wifi automatically connects.
Old Clothes Something rad about returning home is being reunited with the clothes I left behind. It’s almost like shopping. Ooh, I forgot about this shirt. Yes, this skirt is coming back with me. Clothing that I hated in August while I was packing suddenly look like the hottest styles. So, yes, I have packed my huge, oversized black fur vest that was tucked far away on the top shelf of my closet.
Pets I forget that at home, I live with animals. It’s kind of weird when you think about it. Two creatures just live beside my family, unable to communicate, totally accepting of the coexistence. Weird.
Being a Guest No matter how relaxed I feel, no matter how comfortable Mom feels telling me to pick up around the house, Home is still no longer Home. I don’t live there anymore. I live out of my suitcase and have to change my sheets when I leave.
Always Wanting to Come Back Even when I’ve had quite enough of time and I’m very ready to head back to the land of Hopkins, I still miss the comforts of home.