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, Thesaurus.com!) 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?