The Freshman Files: Home Sweet Home

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The moment we have all been waiting for, or counting down to, is just around the corner. After three months of what seemed like never-ending reading, writing and Google-ing, we are finally going home.

While an increase in personal space and a miraculously clean bathroom rank high on the list of reasons we are itching for the holiday weekend, what we are really looking forward to is spending time with the people who love us the most. And, the fact that a student ID will not be required to get in the front door is just an added bonus.

“I can’t wait to go home and see my family and friends and just relax,” freshman Jenny Nunez said. She will be flying back to Florida as soon as her last class is over on Tuesday.

“For some of us Thanksgiving will be the first time being home since coming to school in August,” fellow freshman Sam Manalastas said. “It’s the first time seeing our core group of high school friends.”

But what exactly can we expect when we return? While our neighborhoods may look the same and our parents haven’t turned our bedrooms into home gyms just yet, odds are something will be different.

And more often than not, the thing that has changed the most is us.

“I am very excited to go home, but I also think that it is going to be a lot different, especially since we’ve been living in a whole different world for almost three months now,” freshman Kristen Sandmeier said.

The first semester of college is a life-altering, independence-building, self-finding experience. So, the first long trip home, whether it be for fall, Thanksgiving or winter break, is bound to be unusual.

“After seventeen years of the same names and faces, life at home might seem pale next to the colorful people, ideas and experiences that make up college,” Manalastas added.

Besides a slightly updated identity, what else are people bringing back home with them?

“A ton of laundry, like piles and piles of it, and some books to study for finals,” freshman Alexis Gallagher added.

Some of us are even bringing friends home for the long weekend, inviting students who live too far to travel back and forth.

“I’m going to my friend’s house in New Jersey for the holiday,” freshman track runner [redacted] said. [Redacted] lives in Italy and celebrated Thanksgiving while attending an American-run middle school.

“It was still nothing compared to how people celebrate here. I’m really excited to experience it,” she said.

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to touch base with “the mother ship” before final exams, feasting on nostalgic comfort food during football halftime. It’s also a time for taking stock of our freshman experience so far.

For some of us, even though Thanksgiving means going back to our hometown, we are not really going “home” at all.

“I’m surprised how quickly I’ve become so comfortable with MC. In a way it’s my second home, I love it here,” added Nunez.

UPDATE (August 24, 3:22 p.m. EDT): A source previously listed in this article has requested their name be removed.