By Harlee Ludwig
No one ever wants to be the first of his or her friends to embark on the journey we call the summer. No one wants to be the first to leave the fresh smell of the Oberlin campus (aside from the day it smelled like horses everywhere) and return back to the reality of a home life. A home life much different than that of Oberlin.
I was the first one to leave this semester. In order to make family obligations involving my sisters graduation from a prestigious yet preppy liberal arts school an hour from Portland, Maine, I had to leave early. I left the first day of reading period. The first day before campus became a huge stressful chill spot.
The thing about leaving early is that no matter where you are, you’re generally alone. My friends from college are still in college and so are my friends from home. My sister is not even here yet. For this brief period I call purgatory, I am forced to spend all my time with my parents, which as it turns out is not as bad as I anticipated.
I would be a liar to say I did not cry when parting my friends from school but I would also be a liar to say I wasn’t even a little bit excited to be the first one to leave. The first one to be missed and the first one to re-experience life at home.
As the campus heated up and the smell of summer readjusted itself into everyone’s minds, it became clear that the summer, although it can be sad and empty, is vital to every experience. Although it may not always show itself through seasons, a break from a certain lifestyle is necessary for that lifestyle to flourish.
“Home is where the heart is,” they say. But what about other vital organs like guts, the mind, the brain, the large intestine, and the spleen? What if all those organs are in different places?
My heart is where I’m happy, where I’m comfortable, and where I long to be after being somewhere else too long. In simplest terms, I could easily argue that any place I’ve ever had a good experience is like a home to me. It’s a place that’s remembered fondly and desired to return to.
Leaving early is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it’s a different perspective, a different relationship. Leaving early is like leaving prematurely. Before things are really finished, you’re already gone.
It’s a curse for the same reason it’s a blessing. It’s a curse because I find myself infatuated and constantly thinking about it.
Now what? Well, since I’m home I’m gonna’ sleep ‘til noon. Have fun spending all your time in Mudd.
Until next year,