University of Delaware’s almost-two month Winter Break sounds, at first, like a blessing. Two months of hanging out at home with old friends, seeing much-missed family, and maybe picking up a job on the side. At the beginning, yes, the break is great, especially being able to come home a little earlier than others. But as soon as friends begin heading back to school, each day starts to seem longer and more drab than the last. No school work to do, no friends to see, family members might have work during the day, and siblings may have school still. I found myself deciding to binge-watch shows I had previously never had an interest in, or attempting to read books that I would probably never finish, just to have something to do. I offered to drive my sister everywhere just to have the opportunity to do something. In group chats with friends from school we would all share our unproductive days and how excited we were to have homework again to fill our days. I felt like I just needed to leave. I needed to go back to school and get out of the hometown, a place that I’ve always loved, which was a new feeling for me.
Just as UD began feeling like home for my friends and I, we were forced to leave for about two months. I feel that my “home” is lost somewhere between Delaware and the home I’ve always had. This was made more confusing when I moved out of my childhood home over break. At first I didn’t miss UD because of the excitement of seeing everyone I love from home, but after about a month I realized how much I missed it and wanted to go back. Now that the spring semester has started, I don’t quite feel like I’m “home” yet. I feel off and a little lost now that I’m back. I guess I’m finally realizing that home for a college student is both school and your original home, but also in a way neither. This break made me realize that I was eager to go home, but that I was also longing to come back to UD. After being home without all friends who made my home “home,” I began to miss UD and remembered all the reasons why I considered UD my home too. Now being back, I feel as if I have just realized that UD is “home” for the next four years, and that, in truth, is a little scary.
After being gone from school for almost two months, coming back was comforting, but also very strange. I felt like I couldn’t get back into the groove of class again, like I had learned how to feel comfortable first semester and now it’s time to relearn. Of course, friends help in these situations and I immediately fell back into the social swing of school. Still, some things seem very off. I felt, and still feel, like I can’t memorize my schedule at all. I don’t feel like my schedule of eating and going to class is natural yet. In a way everything feels new again, and yet it also feels like coming home.