I was expecting everything coming back to be different. For one thing, I was expecting to slip on the ice down Middle Path. That has yet to happen, for which I am incredibly grateful. I am expecting for this to happen any day now.
As a freshman, it was weird for me not to come back and pick up right where I left off, classes-wise. When I was back home, my younger sister and I were on break together for about two and a half weeks, and then she had to get back to school and take her midterms (why in January? I have no idea), which gave everything a sense of continuity. There was something daunting about the idea of having to repeat the same “Getting to Know You” routine that I had to start in August. Coming from a small high school meant that I barely had to switch up teachers, and during junior and senior year, there was barely any significant change in that department.
Then, there was the fact that I didn’t necessarily want to leave Hawaii.
(If you got to hike to this view, you wouldn’t want to leave either, I swear)
I was excited to start my new classes, but there was also something really satisfying about Star Wars nights with my family and catching up with old friends. Many of my friends posted on social media that they were soon getting bored after three and a half weeks of being on vacation, and while I’ll admit boredom was starting to affect me as well, I felt sad to leave home. After spending plenty of time with my high school friends, I could feel myself settling back into the comfortable and familiar routine of hanging out with people I have known for years. It was what I had been looking forward to since finals week, and it was one of the things that kept me going despite the stress. Being back at home was almost like being in a time machine, where I had reverted back to my high school self, as I fell back into the role I had taken with my friends as if I had never left, even though I did spend a sizeable chunk of high school wanting to get to college already.
I remember last summer, preparing to head off, and my parents told me again and again about how I would “find my people” here in the Middle of Nowhere, Ohio, and I thought to myself, OK, that sounds great. I’ll know I’ve really struck gold when I can pick up right back where I left off with my friends in college. That’s exactly what happened: nothing changed when I arrived back unless ‘change’ counts being exposed to new and hilarious YouTube content that I wish I had found years ago. I guess a piece like this should have been sent out earlier, but the first two weeks back were pretty hectic, and now winter break feels like a distant memory. That’s okay, though, seeing as I have a whole semester’s worth of new things to try out. And, if all goes wrong, I’ve got a phone full of memes (see evidence below) and 90% of A Very Potter Sequel to finish.
(Thank you to my Kenyon pals for exposing me to this hilarious film)