I grew up in a town called Malvern, the borough is located about forty-five minutes outside of Philadelphia. It is a somewhat small town, right in between Exton and Paoli. It is beautifully historical, at least I think so. Malvern is the site of the Paoli Massacre of 1777, named now as Monument Park. Monument Park holds the Malvern Fair every summer and my neighborhoods’ annual Thanksgiving Football Game. Malvern is filled with Wawa’s, parks, bars, churches, schools, and the best people you’ll ever meet. I swear by it. I am blessed to be filled with so many memories that I created while I lived there. I love to reminisce on the times I spent running down King Street late at night, parties with my friends, car rides, hiking through the woods, and everything else in between. My memories from Malvern are something out of a movie. It is where my home is, even though I don’t actually “live” there anymore.
I am now a freshman at Thomas Jefferson University and I’ve met so many amazing people here. I’ve experienced so much in the past months and I feel like I’ve matured a lot. Yet, I still can’t let go of Malvern, and I probably never will. My friends from home are the people I miss the most. Most of them are in college too, but some were left behind at Great Valley High School. I miss my brothers, my parents and I miss my pets of course. I miss my house, my neighbors, and my car. Don’t get me wrong, I love where I’m at right now, but I went through so much with my family and friends back at home. Those memories are hysterically funny, amazing, and some are unbelievable. They replay in my head before I fall asleep at night, and a cherish every single memory I made in Malvern.
I moved to my house when I was four years old. My house is my favorite place on Earth. It’s small, yet spacious, and cozy. It’s where we’ve had birthday parties, graduation parties, family meetings, fights, and most importantly, home cooked meals. Gosh, I’d do anything for some home-made penne ala vodka right now. I’ve thrown parties in my house when my parents were out of town, even worse when they were around the corner at the neighbors. I’ve played “pirates” with my little brother in my house and we’ve put out cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer. I’ve broken bones in my house. I believe I’ve even seen a ghost in my house. I’ve made many rash decisions in my house… I’ve drawn and traced myself on walls that are now covered with paint, and even tried to make a hole in the wall just to talk to my brother through it. I’ve put soap on my older brother’s toothbrush, almost exploded aluminum foil in the microwave, accidentally called 911, and put gum on places where it doesn’t belong. I’ve laughed, cried, screamed, danced, and ran in my house.
My house during a snowfall (2007)
But throughout it all, it wouldn’t be the same without the neighbors. Like I said before, Malvern has the best people you’ll ever meet. When my mom meets new people, sometimes she says to her friends “they are one of us.” The neighbors always have our back and we always have theirs. On the morning of my graduation party, one of our many neighbors came over with their family just to help us set up. I don’t even think we asked them to!
My family makes tomato sauce from scratch every summer with another beloved neighborhood family as well. We have many family dinners with our neighbors and snow days spent sledding, drinking hot cocoa, and watching movies. We’ve spent countless holiday’s together and gone on vacations with the neighbors. There was even this one weekend where my parents had all the neighbors over for a party. One of our closest neighborhood families had recently moved, and they were visiting. The party ended up lasting for three days straight. I can’t make this up.
I believe it is real love. The kind of love where the sun is rising and the people who live next door are sound asleep on your couch. The kind of carpool love. A love that is so strong, everyone looks out for every kid like their own. I’ve grown up with so much support. From my family, friends, and once strangers. I’ve also grown up as one of the oldest in the neighborhood, which has taught me a lot of responsibility. I’ve watched so many kids grow up right before my eyes. I’ve learned to enjoy the moment and try to be a role model for those kids the best as I can. As a freshman in college, as I meet new people and grow myself, I keep looking back at my hometown. It’s strange how I miss my neighbors and the kids who still live there. My goal is to share my hometown love with the people I meet here and to create some epic memories too.
In Malvern, everybody you meet is family. It is as if everyone knows everyone. I guess that’s why I chose to go to school in Philadelphia because it’s the “City of Brotherly Love.” Although, no place in the world compares to my little town of Malvern. If anyone from my hometown is reading this, specifically anyone from Stonehenge, I want you to know that I am so grateful for you!