First Year Vibes: Home for the Holidays

Anna-Catherine Kueng ~ Staff Writer

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Illustration by Nicole Freewalt 

 

In August, I could not wait to move into my freshman dorm. I was excited for the opportunities ahead of me and even the thought of wearing shower shoes did not seem too terrible. I listened to The Him’s “Feels Like Home” song almost every day during my neighborhood runs and I would dream about my upcoming life in Lynchburg. Honestly, the reason I chose to attend the University of Lynchburg was because out of all the schools I got accepted to, I felt like UofL could easily become my second home.

Being the naive person I am, I imagined moving into college would somehow make me like Lynchburg more than the town in which I was raised. I thought living in a bigger city would make me never want to return to my small town. I thought that I would turn into an independent girl that would never get homesick.

After being back at home for Thanksgiving break, I realized I was wrong about a lot of things. For me, I have realized that no matter where I go, I always want to go back to my real home eventually. I know that sounds like a terrible country song lyric or something straight out of Hannah Montana: The Movie, but it is true.

When I first arrived home for break, it felt like I had checked into a resort because I got to take a hot shower, eat a home cooked meal, and sleep in a full-size bed. There are so many little things that I took for granted about living in a house that I did not realize until I moved out of my house! Also, it was one of the best feeling to drive on nearly desolate back roads instead of being in Wards Road traffic, albeit the latter is always worth it for Cracker Barrel.

I know the first Thanksgiving Break is different for all freshmen and I realize how fortunate I am to have a family that loves me so deeply. For some people, I know it may be difficult to come home for the first time since being in college. Everything does feel weird at first, but I think teenagers are good at adjusting to things after a while. For example, I remember how overwhelmed I was the first time I walked in the dining hall at UofL. Now, I absolutely love going to the dining hall, eating with my friends, and seeing people while I get my food.

If I had to pick the hardest part of the first four months of college, it would definitely be living in two different places. No matter how much time passes or how far away I am from Danville, there is something about it that will always have a huge part of my heart. My small town is what developed my faith, my love for life, my hobbies, and just me as a person. While Lynchburg is awesome, I do not think I could thrive here if I had not experienced the life I did for the past eighteen years just an hour away in Danville.

Despite how I feel about my home, I still am truly grateful to be at the University of Lynchburg. There are days when I am homesick, but there are also days where I would not want to be any other place than UofL. It has provided me with great opportunities and great friends. Even over Thanksgiving break, I still stayed in touch with some of my fellow Hornets.

I write all this to say that you should make an effort to “bloom where you are planted.” With upcoming presentations and exams, I know there will be days when I will wish that Christmas Break would hurry up and start. Yet, I know that in the midst of studying, eating boxes of Cheese-Itz, and probably crying, I will create memories with my friends that I will always remember.

So, as you return from Thanksgiving break, and prepare for Christmas break, just remember that all the in-between days count too. There is truly no place like home but it is okay if you have two homes now. Just remember to cherish both of them because I guarantee you will miss the other one when you are away from it!