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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

Things I’ve Missed About Home by Jess K. '10

My top six.

So I’m writing from the end of a well-needed break back in San Francisco, just about to fly back to Boston to prepare for FAP (Freshman Arts Program), and the adjustment back to home life has been, as usual, greater than a three-hour time difference. These adjustments are mostly positive, but there are exceptions to every rule, and mine is not being bothered by volumes of different people at all hours of the day. What can I say? Sometimes you miss the freshman boy next door barging in and asking you what you think of the brand-new stubble, courtesy of No Shave November. That, and the fraternity I was living in over the summer had free cereal 24/7, and I mean the good kinds that your mom never bought you, like Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms. Cereal and I have such an involved long-term relationship that it doesn’t even know I’m cheating on it with Cold Pizza. (Thanks, college!)

But to focus on the mostly positive, here are the things I’ve missed about home:

* Not having to wear shower shoes. Believe it when I say it that there is no weirder feeling than stepping into your shower for the first time in months without having to flop around in flip flops. That, and maybe knowing that all the hair in the drain is yours, and not the freshman boy next door’s. (And even that’s questionable.)

* Home-cooked meals. A cliche, but with good reason – when you’ve been cooking for yourself at school, or even if you haven’t, it’s pretty awesome to come home to food that you know is delicious, was made personally for you, and has a zero percent chance of coming with the bitter aftertaste of your suitemate using and not washing your chopping board last night. Or has a zero percent chance of tasting like.. exactly what was served in the dining hall two weeks ago. (But hey, that’s what my buddy Takeout Menu is good for, right?)

* Not sweating so much even your eyeballs feel dry. Boston summers are ridiculously and completely unnecessarily humid, which means a couple things – never wearing white (ever), never turning off the air conditioning you found for free in your dorm’s storage, and never a reprieve from the stickiness, even the second you shut off your cold shower. Oh, and sometimes, it’ll rain torrentially for about twenty minutes, probably in the twenty minutes you were walking across the Harvard bridge with nothing but your $1200 laptop. And probably a $1500 rental camera. Or something equally water-resistant. (I spent the rest of the day in my friend’s fluorescent green running shorts and carrying all my prized posessions in LaVerde’s bags.)

* Smoothies. Smoothies are difficult to come by in Boston; instead, you get bubble tea. I’m not complaining; I like boba as much as anyone, but smoothies, man. There’s a Jamba Juice in the BU student center, but MIT has barely tapped into the goldmine of the smoothie industry. (Leave it to MIT to devote its resources to renewable energy initiatives instead. Again, not complaining..)

* All things not associated with cities. Like seeing the stars out at night. Or the occasional mountain lion scare that comes with living in the ‘burbs at the base of a mountain. Or wild turkeys. Actually, I almost got killed by a wild turkey chasing me down in Brookline a couple weekends ago, but that’s a story for another time. (I guess that’s pretty much it. I almost got killed by a turkey chasing me down in Brookline. Who knew those things could run as fast as a 5’4″ Asian girl?)(That probably doesn’t rule out a lot of birds, but whatever.)

* My family. Man, have I fooled myself into thinking I’m mostly self-sufficient, but that all seems to come crashing down whenever I go home. This time it was started by the fact that my dad swims in the San Francisco bay without a wet suit. Daily. That water fluctuates from about low 40s to 60 degree Farenheit. It’s something I usually tell people accompanied with a smile and an eyebrow raise and the phrase “completely crazy”, but in my week visit back home, on one particularly chilly eve, I decided to put my money where my mouth was and did my first open-water swim.

It was cold.

Seriously, all the creative literary training in the world could not paint a world picture adequate enough to describe how cold this water was. It was freezing. Arctic. Glacial. Brisk. (Thanks,!) It was also an incredible experience that I never would’ve had without my family pushing me to get in the water, stop hyperventilating, and let the cold take over.

But the first five or ten minutes where I couldn’t breathe was pretty much just me reciting “oh-my-god-I-can’t-breathe-what-was-I-thinking-ahh-ahh-ahhhh”. (That, and channeling Michael Phelps.)

What’re you going to miss? Your favorite hair colorist? Your orange Buick Riviera?

32 responses to “Things I’ve Missed About Home”

  1. Jeremy '12 says:

    My younger brother. Never actually realized exactly how close we were until this summer.

  2. Snively says:

    Yeah, Piper’s right. Between the T and walking, you can just about get anywhere.

  3. Jess says:

    Guys, guys, you realize that’s Laura Laura, right?

  4. Rachel '12 says:

    My room…my red and white room with a forest of mobiles hanging from the ceiling and the best bed in the world…

  5. kayla '12 says:

    i’m doing FAP! yay!

  6. Lainers says:

    @Jeremy ’12
    Yeah, same story with my sister…we don’t always get along, but I realize that no one else in the world will understand all my random references.

    I can’t contribute more to this list right now. I’m freaking out too much.

  7. Chris Mills says:

    Central Texas. The most delicious Bar B Q in the world, and right down the street. The inside doesn’t even look like a restaurant, it looks like an old house, and the tables are covered with glass that isn’t glued to the table, so people lift it up and put pictures in it. Every table is covered with goofy photos of your friends and random strangers. And the food is delicious, brisket melts like butter, ribs that came from God’s favorite pig, mashed potatoes that cannot be legal, it’s all there.

  8. Laura says:

    Dude, I miss my car. Especially now that my sister turned 17, so now it’s HER car. And we have to share when I go home. Suck!

  9. Karen '12 says:

    I’m going to miss driving – the twisty parts of Sheridan road the most, especially when driving them with my best friend on our way to this coffee shop in Evanston to be pretentious.

    But also McDonalds at 2 in the morning, they make everything fresh so their fries are amazing. And also my room, which is comfortable, and my beanbag chair, which is extra comfortable, and not having to do my own laundry or buy my own food. This will probably be the biggest adjustment to make.

  10. Piper says:

    I missed my mom’s carne asada – as well as other real Mexican food. (Anna’s does NOT count. I ate there once. I vow to never do so again =D.)

  11. guy from gsu says:

    There’s no substitute for my bedroom at home. It’s 50% larger than the dormitory I shared during my freshman year (2007-2008). I also don’t have to live with a constant fear of the door being left unlocked by my idiotic roommate while my items go “missing.”

  12. Piper says:

    @Laura – you’ll be fine without a car =). Boston has decent public transport

    (And to any southern Californians out there, you’ll find Boston’s public transport AMAZING.)

  13. Lauren '12 says:

    Piper, heh, I think the Laura that posted that is going to be a senior…

    So, I’m from pretty close to Cambridge, so I’m not going to miss *too* much about home, but this summer I’ve been in CA… and the thing I miss the most: THE FOOD. As in, my mom cooking for me, buying groceries, me not having to think about what to eat. Man, I have a new respect for my mom’s cooking after spending a whole summer trying to plan and make cheap but tasty meals. They usually fail somewhat on the tasty side… probably would help if I weren’t too cheap to buy spices tongue laugh I’m going to have to work on that at MIT…

  14. Piper says:

    OH. Sorry.

    Well, my point still stands for Californians =D.

  15. Omar says:

    I just got into Cambridge!

    I was just saying this morning that I’m going to totally miss driving. I’ll probably end up sucking at it when I come back home.

    I’m terrible saddened that there’s no smoothies. My hometown is like that and I was hoping MIT would. Oh well, I can live on pizza everyday smile

  16. omar says:

    home cooked meals is a winner. and definitely good weather.

    if i could have those two things in boston… i’d be so much happier.

  17. the wild turkey made me lol

  18. oh god smoothies. i definitely annoyed the crap out of everyone with my “i want jaaaamba juice” every few days. and the boba at the student center doesn’t really count as quality bubble tea :( and AC! and emo kids with scene hair! so many things to miss, really.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The smoothies that they sell at the place that sells bubble tea in W20 are actually really good. Really, really good. I recommend the strawberry.

  20. Chris B'12 says:

    I think I’ll miss mass transit that makes sense. (that is my only comment on the state of the T compared to the new york subway). I’ll also majorly miss Broadway shows. Family? maybe.

  21. Steph says:

    When I go off to uni, I’ll be glad not to be cooking. My parents will be the ones looking forward to a home cooked meal. haha

  22. milena '11 says:

    the T rocks. It gets me places and it’s pretty straightforward. I tried to take the subway once in NY and got very, very lost.

  23. 77 says:

    I love smoothies! :D And I’ve grown up around Cambridge. I know there’s a Robek’s somewhere around. Yeah, Kendall is lacking in that respect but I’ve found tons of good smoothies in Harvard and Central.
    (Doesn’t that popular bubble tea place in Harvard have smoothies as well? Of course, they’re different because they come from a bubble tea place, but… at least they’re not bubble tea.)
    And I’ve heard something about Simmons having a thing with smoothies… not sure about any details.
    Look around a bit more in the other parts of Cambridge; you actually may be able to remove that aspect of the homesickness wink

  24. Jess says:

    Actually, I found the NY subway system more straightforward – uptown/downtown makes a lot more sense to me than inbound/outbound (which is what the T uses), which means you have to reorient yourself every time you get off at a different stop.

    Anyway, yukiko, I really miss Japanese food too – but there are a couple good sushi places and a couple good Korean BBQ places in the Boston area, you just have to be willing to go out and look for them. smile Yelp helps!

  25. yukiko says:

    I’m going to miss the Matcha Green Tea Smoothies w/ Extra caffeine green boost, my mom’s cooking, and the japanese stationery stores like Kinokuniya..

    I’m going to miss korean & Japanese food.. I’m going to miss my mom’s kimchi and the S. Cali weather…

  26. Ehsan('15) says:


    He’s done it Michael Phelps has won eight gold medals.

    Oh and by the way I’m going to miss my friends. The ones that have always been there for me. (sigh) I wish I get accepted in three years time

  27. Laura says:

    Yes kids, I know all about the T, and will be glad to tell you about it when you get here.

    Especially the clueless among you, like Snively.

  28. Jared '10 says:

    No Shave November? What happened to the Manly Month of March?

  29. milena '11 says:

    Um, were you reading my mind? I DO miss my hair colorist, especially now that I’ve gone from a dark brown to a honey blonde. I’ll be freaking out in about two more weeks, when my roots start to show so bad that I’ll have to book an emergency appointment someplace where I’ll have to pay my weight in gold to get it done.

    I also miss my car, and even more now that I drove it for the past two months. But then again, whenever I’m driving I miss the convenience/cheapness of taking the T/bus, so this is more of a grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side thing.

  30. Megan says:

    I’m going to miss getting Canadian radio stations. Stewart McClean is the best storyteller in the world. Also, free champagne and cheese at my dad’s friend’s winery. And good chicken wings. Actually, all the food at home.

  31. i’m going to miss my icky dirty new york city subways
    oh yeah, and my lunatic bestest friends

  32. lulu says:

    hey you know that there are smoothies in lobdell, right? they make them at the bullet train place. I recommend pina colada but don’t even try unless the asian lady is there.