A couple weeks ago when I was in New Zealand, something happened to me that hadn’t happened since July. It wasn’t a phone call, nor was it seeing an old friend… It was having a home cooked meal. Hamburger, lamb and, best of all, warm apple pie topped with ice cream. It was heaven, it was like I was home. But as I ate the pie and looked around, I knew I wasn’t home, or anywhere near it for that matter. 9,000 miles away at least. So with that in mind, let’s talk about missing home. Not just for me, nobody who’s reading this wants to listen to me whine about how I miss my dog and my mother, my friends and my car. Instead, I want to talk about the feeling of missing something, and what it’s like not only at the University of Rhode Island, but abroad as well
As cruel and as heartless as it might be to say, I don’t miss home, I really don’t. There is no silver lining to me that can make me want to come home. But for the freshman who might be reading this, that could be totally different. Last week was Columbus Day Weekend, and if memory serves me correct from my last two years in Kingston, that weekend is absolutely desolate on campus. Seemingly everyone goes home to see their parents, their friends and they get that easy feeling of being home again. It’s peaceful. However, going back to school can be hard. No longer is college easy, it’s not syllabus week anymore It’s midterm season, the second worst time of the year! (Finals season is infinitely worse). After I went home for the first time my freshman year (Veteran’s day), I went home 2 more times that month before Thanksgiving. Granted, I had mono, but that didn’t change the fact that after going home, I felt absolutely miserable at URI. Home was just so easy and college was so hard, it was like looking at a tidal wave coming and having no way of avoiding it… But I persevered. I hope that anyone who misses home right now can understand where I’m coming from, and I hope that you also know that college has its ups and downs.
Missing something is always challenging because that means that there is a void. A hole somewhere that it shouldn’t be. That void needs to be filled, but with what? One of the most noticeable differences between URI and UNSW is the void of student activity here. Back at URI I’m a tour guide, I work for the radio station, I have an internship on campus and every week I can go watch URI athletics beat the living snot out of their competition either in Basketball, Soccer, Football, Hockey, you name it! But UNSW? No division 1 sports to be played, school wide mascot or fight song. That’s the void for me. The spirit of URI. But that does not mean I miss URI, but rather I miss that aspect of URI.
I hope that can resonate with some people. One little aspect of something does not mean you have to miss the whole thing. That was the mistake of my freshman year, I missed the feeling of being home, but I didn’t really miss anything about it. And yet, I let that feeling control and consume me. I became a sheltered hermit of myself, wanting nothing more than to go home to experience something I knew all too well, being just as bored
For the upperclassmen reading this, anyone who has been to a camp, or really just done something where they aren’t at their house for long stretches of time, I think you might understand where I’m coming from on this one. I want to go home, I really do. My own bed, that long awaited home cooked meal… But I cannot say that I’m eager, excited, or that I’m looking forward to going home in a month. Because the truth is, much like URI, this place, Sydney, has become my home. So when I go home, it might not feel like home. Yes I will be in my own house, but even under my own roof, with my dog, my mother and my friends that I’ve had for years, I might be missing something else. “Home”.