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Foreignness in Familiarity – Returning to My Childhood Bedroom

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

There are a lot of weird feelings I have experienced in my lifetime, but one of the strangest feelings yet was entering my bedroom during fall break. Before I left for college, I was upset to leave the room I had grown so comfortable living in. Everything in my room was familiar to me, and although I was excited for Denison, I assumed that I wouldn’t experience this familiar feeling at college. My childhood bedroom had become my sanctuary; it was a place in which I could escape from all of my problems and worries. It was my safe space, and it was always there waiting for me. As you can imagine, I was worried that my dorm would never take the place of my bedroom. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself wrong. After a few short weeks, I felt incredibly comfortable in my dorm room. My dorm bed, cozier than my bed at home; my desk, a comfortable place to get ready in the morning and to do my homework; and the twinkling string lights, creating a homely atmosphere that made me enjoy sitting in my room. Soon, I found myself using my dorm room as an escape, just as I did back in my Connecticut bedroom. 

This feeling was in some sense positive as it affirmed how much I was enjoying my freshman year of college, but it was by far the weirdest feeling I have ever experienced. I stayed up late my first night home, reflecting on this feeling, and realized that Denison would forever be a second home to me. Now, I have two homes — my home and my home away from home, and I think that is really special.

dorm bed with white comforter
Original photo by Hannah Tolley

When I left Denison and flew back home for fall break, I assumed that that homey and familiar feeling in my bedroom in Connecticut would instantly hit when I opened the door. But boy, was I wrong. Everything felt out of place. My bed looked so short compared to my dorm bed, my desk looked different than usual, and my rug looked out of place. Suddenly, the bedroom I had lived in for most of my life felt as unfamiliar as my dorm when I first walked in. How strange it was to experience unfamiliarity in such a familiar place. I found myself longing to be back at Denison. I missed the inviting and warm atmosphere of Denison and my dorm just as much as I missed my college friends. 

Hi! My name is Megan Broderick, and I am a freshman at Denison University. I am interested in studying psychology and neuroscience. I love to write in my free time, especially about topics I am passionate about or topics that pique my interest. I love hanging out with my friends, family, and dogs, listening to music, and enjoying the outdoors!
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