Way Back Home



Every college student would probably agree that there is no word that gets them more emotional than this one. For people living in dorms, far from the place they grew up in, this word becomes so much more than just a word. It becomes the hope that gets you through this fast-paced college life, the memory that makes you smile even when you feel like nothing in this world is going right.


But often, we forget to give enough importance to this home of ours. College keeps us busy, and the world outside becomes a blur that we rarely have time to acknowledge. Before coming to colleges, we all dreamt about being better versions of ourselves, but I'm sure sticking to our roots also means a lot for us. Personally, the one thing I had promised myself before I moved away from home, was that if I ever change, I will change only for the better. There is so much that my hometown has taught me, and I will never let go of it. I was sure I would keep in touch with every single friend, relative, and would not forget my own culture. Being an international student, that meant so much more to me because the kind of things I was used to are so differently done here. I wanted to be my own self instead of just becoming another brick in the wall so one day I could proudly say that even though I was so far away from home, home was never too far away from me.


Unfortunately, things don’t always work out like we want them to. Coming here, I realized that time was in short supply and there was always something to do, be it classes, assignments, social events, socializing...the list can go on. In midst of trying to juggle everything here, I forgot to give time to what lay behind. I would go days without talking to the friends I had spent the best of my times with, and when I did talk, I would only rant about how hard college was, very conveniently forgetting the fact that they were struggling with college, too. The only times I would talk to my relatives would be when they called and that too in compulsion, because I would have exams to prepare for, or parties to attend. As for my culture? It would escape my mind that this was not the kind of food I had grown up eating, not the kind of festivals I celebrated back home.


I think college does that to you, at least in the beginning, and that’s alright. I have realized that the thing about home is- it’s always there, waiting for you. You can find bits and pieces of home everywhere, at any time you want. You can simply call up your best friend and because of how things with best friends usually are, you won’t feel like you’re talking to them after ages. You can wear your traditional outfit at any point of the day because trust me, in college, no one will judge you. Everyone is too busy with themselves.


And so, if like me, you ever feel like you’re distancing yourself from home, that you’re far away from your roots, worry not! There is so much more that you can do to feel the home that resides within you.

Talk to friends and family: This is definitely the most obvious, yet most helpful way. Have a long chat with your mom or even just a text conversation with a friend from school- it will help!


Music: Although we now listen to music from all around the world, there is just something that much more special in the songs from back home, in a language you grew up speaking in. It’ll make you nostalgic and homesick, maybe, but will help you feel like a part of where you belong. As you hum along to the lyrics of a song you haven’t listened to in years, you will realize that these words live in your veins.


Cooking traditional food: I realize this is a more difficult task to do if you’re living in a dorm with no personal kitchen, but there’s no harm in trying! You can always look up the easiest recipes from your culture and cook them up (but try not to burn down the college, in the process!).


And lastly, you can talk to people in your college who come from your hometown. Whether they might be seniors or even your professors, you can sit with them and chat for a while, reminiscing about the amazing street food back home or even ranting about the traffic there! It will surely remind you that even though you’re not there, that place is and always will be your home. You know that city like no one else and that is a knowledge you can proudly carry with you. You have a familiarity with the place that is there in your very essence, and your home is your safe place within yourself. If you ever forget it, I hope the tips above help you find your way back home!




(P.S. The title is a song by Miley Cyrus)

Edited by: Ananya Khandelwal