Thoughts on "Home" Since Living at College

For the past two years, I’ve lived in New York City for college, and I’ve loved it… 99% of the time. After spending my whole life in a city in Massachusetts with a population of just under 90,000, transitioning to an upbeat, energy-filled city with a population of 8.6 million hasn’t been entirely perfect. This past semester especially, I’ve been ridden with homesickness, which has begged the question: what is considered “home?” Because home isn’t just where you sleep at night. Here’s why I think home isn’t just a place: it’s whatever, whoever, and wherever allows you to feel most at ease.

 

Home for me is on the 14th floor. And the 6th… and 2nd. Home is where tails wag and lint rollers are stocked up because of pet hair. Home smells like the ocean after it rains, and Portuguese masa from the bakeries on Sundays. Home is where you can get your coffee made “extra-extra.” Home is falling in love over summer break by accident. Home is the break in between cleaning off your car because you can’t feel your fingers. But home is also iced coffee no matter the season. Home says “the next stop is Astor Place. Stand clear of the closing doors.” Home is a full roll of film and a well stocked bookstore. Home is orange, crunchy leaves and shedding branches. Home is in the people who are on your side when you’re right and keep you in check when you’re wrong. Home is in those who help you know your worth, who help you become a better version of yourself, and understand when you have a bad day.

 

Home isn’t total comfort. It’s not sameness, because home is always changing. Living in the dorms has been particularly tough for me because I don’t like the feeling of limbo that they offered for me. Living in a place that isn’t quite my own place, but not quite living at my mom’s place, and having my life stretched halfway between ~200 miles has definitely had its negatives. Spending time in NYC is something I’ll never regret, especially because it’s allowed me to take into consideration the things in life that are most important, and it’s given me a whole new outlook on where I grew up.