When I set off to college, I thought that I was more than ready to leave the sheltered environment that my home had given to me. When I was at school without all the comforts of home, I realized that there were things I took for granted. Each time I go home, I am so grateful for the little things that so many people do not think about before they leave.
1. Home-Cooked Meals
I used to love to go out to eat with my friends when I was at home as opposed to staying in for my dad's cooking. Once I was at school eating cafeteria food all the time, I wanted to go back home! The chances of being able to prepare your own food are slim to none. When I go home, I make sure I stay in so I can eat some good ole home cookin'.
2. Your Bed
No matter how much memory foam you stack on my tiny college twin bed, it doesn't beat the comfortable pillow top mattress waiting in my room. I never appreciated the hug of a good mattress until I attended college. Let's just say that now that winter break is over, I am definitely ready to head right back home to my comfy bed.
3. Cleaning the House
I might be a little atypical in the sense that cleaning the house serves as a sort of respite for me. When I get stressed, I can always count on doing a load of laundry, organizing my room or even going to wash the dishes as a distraction. Now that I am at school without a kitchen, I can't do mundane chores to keep my mind off things. Who would have thought I would appreciate free laundry and chores when I am away at school?
4. Warm Blankets and Towels
The way that things are set up in my dorm require me to go down five flights of stairs before getting to the laundry. This means that even if I get my laundry straight out of the dryer and sprint up the five flights of stairs (really a slow jog for me), there is no way I can enjoy a nice, hot blanket just out of the dryer wrapped around my shoulders because I have to either wait for the slow elevators or trudge up the stairs. By then, everything is lukewarm at best.
5. Baking Cookies
I am not one to love baking because I have an irrational fear of ovens — not necessarily the ovens themselves, but the heat that envelops you when you open a preheated ovens door. I usually did not bake anything at home, and simply bummed warm cookies and cakes off my sister who loves to bake. Since neither my sister or an oven are here with me at college, I miss them both and the taste of melty cookies in my mouth.
6. Driving Around With Friends
I was a late-bloomer when it came to getting my license, so every time that I can drive, I will drive. Unfortunately, I do not have a car on campus, so the nights I used to spend driving around to nowhere in particular are long gone and dearly missed.
7. Having a Messy Room
Dorms are small. They are definitely not the nice-sized room that I am used to. When I say there really isn't any space to be messy, I mean it. I can't throw all my clothes on my chair like I used to because I use that chair to sit in and study. My bed is lofted to fit the dresser so I can't hide things below my bed. My closet does not have a door so I cannot carelessly throw things into the abyss of my closet, and then close the door and deny the mess exists. Being tidy takes time, and I miss the mild mess that is my bedroom back home.
Even though I miss these things, I am so happy to have the opportunity to be at school learning in an environment of dedicated thinkers. But I make sure that every time I go home, I appreciate the little things that I took for granted before I came to school.
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