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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Edited by: Aahana Banerjee

“Sonipat, Haryana?! exclaims yet another disgruntled relative when I update them on the quintessential “so, what next? question. Sometimes I leave it with a smile and a sigh and sometimes, I watch their eyes bug out of their sockets as they grapple with the knowledge that I’ve chosen to study in a liberal arts university. No sooner am I finished revealing the geographical location of Ashoka, than I’m hit with a barrage of stereotypical advice on how to escape the Haryanvi goons. My relative, whom I’ve spoken to a grand total of two times in my life, ends his advisory with a recommendation that I buy twenty Krishna paintings to keep myself safe, and wonders out loud whether Haryanvi-me will miss home.  

How do I tell him that I’ve already decided on Miley Cyrus and Amy Winehouse posters to be my Krishna representatives? That I know exactly where I want to stick them, I know exactly how I want them to be sized, and I know exactly how I want them arranged atop the red rectangle that graces each dorm room. I’ve mapped out exactly which fairy lights I want the posters to be garlanded with, and I know exactly which plants I want them to be adorned with.

How do I tell him that I’ve already decided on my campus wardrobe? That every time I look at a pretty pair of earrings, I mentally categorise it into the ‘must-have for campus’ folder that seems to have permanently occupied a position in my mind, that I have a painstakingly curated Myntra shopping cart full of clothes that are the perfect mix of casual yet chic. That years of moral policing and clothes-shaming in my own house have led me to envision an alternate life where I have the freedom to wear what I want and don’t have to be worried about getting reprimanded. Except, this life doesn’t seem alternate anymore. It seems close, but still so very out of reach.

How do I tell him that I’ve already envisioned the structure of my future days on campus? That I will spend an aching amount of time in the dance studio, that I will sit on the fields and will look up at the sonipat skies each time I finish a reading, that I will make filter coffee for the people I adore, that I will get impulsive on-the-spot tattoos with my friends after a particularly tiring week, that I will rush down to the common room just to get a glimpse of the boy that I have a stupid crush on, that I will give my friends a hug each time I see them stressed over a submission instead of relating to them via text, that I will find pretty little flowers around campus and send a picture of them to my sister because I know just how much she loves them, that I will finally learn to ride a bicycle on campus, and that I will get drunk on thursday nights only to run into girls I’ve never met before but compliment them as if I’ve known them for a lifetime.

How do I tell him that I’ve already morphed my studying habits keeping campus in mind? That I will sit in the library every time I want to feel like an intellectual, that I will absent-mindedly walk around campus with a pencil stuck behind my ear, that I will use the whiteboard in my dorm room to meticulously conjure up an everyday timetable — only to never follow it, that I will run into my TAs on campus and profess my appreciation for the way they keep up with my never-ending list of questions and help whither my imposter syndrome away, that I will use pastel coloured post-it notes all over my dorm room as a reminder for me to complete mundane tasks such as drinking water, and that I will finally be able to sit with my friends to study together — the fatigue of virtual study calls long forgotten.

How do I tell him that I’ve already pictured my home, but that it’s a home I’ve never seen, and probably won’t for a few months at least. Haryanvi-me won’t miss home, not because she’s selfish and apathetic, but because she will already be home.

How do I explain to him my nostalgia for a home I’ve never known?

A compulsive over-sharer and daydreamer, Divya (she/her) is a freshman at Ashoka University and a content creator at Her Campus. When not busy having an existential crisis every three days, she can be found dancing, cooking (read: eating) or giving herself impulsive curtain bangs on random Tuesdays
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