There is a common saying that says “you can never go home again” and as scary as this may sound, it’s metaphorically true. After three long, stressful, but ultimately, amazing months, I went back home, but it just was not the same. There are the generic things that you expect to happen on your first trip back home, specifically, spending endless hours in your bed, hanging out with your high school friends, and mostly, telling everyone about the college life. But, in my case, what made my trip back home so amazing were the things that I did not expect to happen. In honor of the unexpected moments of my trip back home, I compiled a survival guide with five of the most exceptionally unexpected occurrences of my return.
1. The Freshman 15
Whenever I left for college, I received all of the jokes about gaining the infamous freshman 15, but I refused to let it happen. Although, after leaving the south, and the comfort food that comes along with it, I actually lost weight once coming to Hopkins. Once I got back home, I knew the certain southern foods I missed and that I had to eat, mostly, catfish, fried chicken, and honestly, anything fried. What I did not expect was that I would eat all of these foods multiple times, and in excess. (Oops) So surprisingly, I actually gained the freshman 15 at home, but I promise that I regret nothing.
2. I Am An Adult?
I went to an extremely small high school, so naturally I was very close with all of my teachers. There were two teachers from high school that truly influenced me to become the person I am today, and most importantly, to apply to Hopkins. I made it my mission to meet these two teachers outside of the school environment over the break. I met one of my teachers for coffee at a local coffee shop, and it was the most bizarre thing I have ever experienced. We talked about his home life, his wife, his children, and the “old days” in high school. Also, I met my other teacher at our high school basketball game, and the most amazing thing happened to me. MY TEACHER SAID A CURSE WORD IN FRONT OF ME!!! What do I do? Do I laugh? Do I play it cool? Do I curse back at him to assert my dominance? I did none of the above. I smirked, chuckled (like a little school girl), and awkwardly felt like an adult for the first time in my life.
3. You Are Still Expected to Clean
I expected to come home and be rightfully treated as the prince I am, but no. Contrary to my belief, five minutes after I got home, hugged my family, and jumped in my bed, I was forced to clean my room (anti-climactic, right?). Not only that, throughout the week, I actually had to lift a finger, get out of bed, and worst of all, pay for gas. Although, most of me actually missed all of these things. I did miss having a room to clean and arrange as I please. I missed having a car to put gas in. Mostly, I missed having a queen-size bed to make in the morning.
4. Nothing Actually Changes
Whenever I got home, I expected there to be new buildings everywhere, my house to be rearranged, and everyone to look and act differently. Absolutely nothing changed, and that may just be because I live in such a small town, but I honestly felt like time paused and everyone just waited for me to get back. My friends all looked the same, my family still nagged me, and my jeep still ran. The greatest thing about coming back was the fact that my friends and I had so much to talk about. We talked for one night about everything that we separately experienced and caught up on all the juicy gossip.
5. The Tables Have Turned
The most shocking part of my trip was the fact that I actually missed Hopkins more than I expected to. I thought I would get home and hate leaving, hate having to say goodbye, and hate having to go back to school, but I was dead wrong. Towards the end of the break, I began constantly talking about all of the things that I missed about Hopkins. I talked about how I missed my new friends, how I missed my independence, and surprisingly enough, how I missed my dorm room.
Quite to my dismay, I realized that I loved Hopkins as much as I love my home, that I loved my new friends as much as my old, and that I like independence more than dependence. All in all, I realized that since home is truly where the heart is, I have two homes that share my heart. I love home. I love Homewood. Mostly, I love the unexpected.