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MIT student blogger Anthony R. '09

Leaving home… by Anthony R. '09

[I’m at MIT now, but wrote this entry earlier today while still travelling.]

For months, I’ve been looking forward to the day I’d be leaving for college. I talk to my future classmates daily, and it seems like something of a college preparatory nature occurs multiple times per week. For seven months, the notion of a new life and future along the Charles River has been firmly planted in the back of my mind.

But sometimes, when you spend too much time looking forward, you don’t spend enough time considering the past. And as I type this from an aisle seat on a flight bound for Atlanta (where I’ll connect to my Boston flight), the fact that I won’t be seeing the same friends, family, bedroom, furniture, and kitchen table on a daily basis is really starting to sink in. It’s not that I’m not ready to be leaving home; goodness, I’ve had two and a half years to prepare for that. But I suppose you could say that in all of the eagerness to get the hell out of the desert, I lost sight of the foundation and support structure that one takes for granted living in the same area for eighteen years.

I spent the last couple weeks seeing old friends and actually giving extra thought to the chores I brand routine: going to the post office, driving past my old school, seeing my dad at work, getting my favorite takeout food. Driving to the airport this morning (a three-hour affair), it wasn’t with excitement that I hit the highway for the very last time as a true “local”. Well, to be honest, I felt a bit sentimental and nostalgic. I was leaving behind the place where I first learned to read, speak, walk, share, eat, sleep… the place where I first cried and where I first skinned my knees on a playground. Yes, to be downright honest, it was nothing short of dizzying.

Luckily, I’m fairly resilient. I snapped out of pondering in a couple of minutes and quickly devoted my energy to taking a nap — one well-deserved after a long night of packing. I also IMed some people I’ll be seeing tonight at East Campus. So you see, there’s nothing wrong with change. Just make sure you take ample time to appreciate what you’re leaving behind. :-)

I’ll be updating you this coming week on orientation activities as well as introducing you to some of my friends, and to the hall on which I’m temporarily staying, Third East.

5 responses to “Leaving home…”

  1. Christina says:

    Yes, I guess the best way to go about it is to appreciate both what you’re leaving behind and the new place you’re going to.

    Have fun!!

  2. Jessie says:

    I saw you and Greg in a quickstation cluster in the Infinite last night. But you didn’t see me. I was a little…busy. wink

  3. Anthony, thanks for this entry. I imagine you are nowhere near the only new college student, at MIT or anywhere else, having these sorts of thoughts. As the mother of one who has just left, I can assure you that we parents have our own big transitions to go through when you leave us, and it means a lot to us to know that it’s not a simple “so-long-I’m-gone” leave-taking for you, either.

    Have a wonderful time! I’m looking forward to hearing about orientation et al. through your blog. (Heaven knows my kid isn’t likely to tell me much…)

  4. I don’t know if it’s me being lucky or not, but I left my hometown when I was 8. I can remember lots and lots of it, and having stayed in Singapore for 10 over years, I’ve learnt the true meaning of absence makes the heart grow fonder.

    Still, I’m sure you’ll get past it. I think when you reach the first summer, and then second, third, and the final fourth, you’ll get to go home often (that is if you’re not involved in some UROP or work attachment, I believe?), right? Yeah, unlucky me, my homeland is across the Pacific Ocean, and I kinda miss it a lot, but time will heal the longing for home.

  5. Word, I know the feeling. The same exact thing happened to me, and I’m in NYC. I’m not leaving the desert, but it’s quite the same, regardless of where you’re coming from. The fact that you’re not at what you’ve called home for 18 years anymore is a bit…disconcerting, at first.

    I guess you get used to it.