December means a lot of things: snow, cold weather, the end of year and the holidays. But it also means one thing that's very important to out-of-province and out-of-state students: we finally get to go home after we finish our exams. Unlike Thanksgiving, when some students will still choose to stay at their dorms for various reasons, very few people do the same for winter break. And for all of us who have had to spend the semester away from home, this is an exciting time for many reasons. Here are 10 things that students who study in other provinces or states really look forward to.
1. Homemade Meals
I don't know about you, but in my experience, people are rarely fans of the cafeteria food. Even if you are, nothing really compares to the homemade food we had been eating for over eighteen years before we moved out. Plus, it has been a long time since we have sat down with our families and just have a nice meal together. For people who have been living in residence buildings without a kitchen, now we have the opportunity to make our own food, too. Food is definitely one of the top sources of nostalgia for us.
2. Our Own Bed
While we can try to replicate our bed at home by buying the same bedding or even just bring them to university, it just doesn't feel the same. There are many more memories associated with our own rooms back home, a lot of things we didn't get to bring and it's been a long time since we didn't need to share our rooms with someone else. Plus, with our busy class schedules, who really has the time to stay in bed all day anyways? Laying in our own bed doing nothing sounds like a really great holiday plan to me at the moment.
3. No More Public Showers
Using a public shower is definitely one of the most dreaded components of moving away from home. With so many strangers with such different habits, sometimes the public shower experience really isn't the most pleasant. But going back home means finally having our own shower again, and bonus point: for the holidays, there's no need to worry about people who will hog the washroom and make you late for classes.
4. Reunion with Friends
Maybe you and your old friends have been scattered all across the country or even the world due to your different choices on post-secondary education and/or employment, but the holidays give everyone an opportunity to go back home and that means we can finally meet up with them. While I'm sure we all love the new friends we've made in university, it would be nice to share inside jokes with our old friends again and talk about the amazing experiences we each have at school.
5. Navigating Town Easily
Part of moving away from our province or state involves figuring out the public transit system. I don't know about you, but it was no easy feat for me, and I could not go anywhere without Google Maps, whether it is to a movie theater for leisure or to a supermarket for my errands. Being back to the town where we have spent years in means that we finally know how to go anywhere we want easily, and this time it definitely doesn't require us to figure out the transit system all over again.
6. Favorite Hang-Out Spot
Whether it is that coffee shops we've spent countless rainy afternoons working on assignments, the picnic table we always sat at when our families went on weekend excursions or that one friend's house that seemed to become the default hang-out location, there is that one special place in our heart that we have loved for a long time and would love to return to when we are feeling particularly nostalgic. With winter vacation comes more time that we could use to do things we actually love instead of studying, and visiting the place that have held many happy memories is definitely one of those things we'd love to do.
7. Everything We Didn't Get to Bring to University
As much as we'd love to bring everything we own to university, the cold reality that shows up in the form of luggage check-in allowances and all the headache that would come with moving out prevented us from doing so. Whether it is the pile of stuffed animals we have had since we were three years old, the old diaries we kept filled with the most dramatic stories or the extensive CD collections when we went through different phases of favorite artists, we are now back to take a walk down the memory lane. Maybe we are only home for a few weeks, but that's enough for us to stay in our room for a few days to reminisce.
8. No More FaceTime
No more trying to convert between time zones so we can call our family or friends. No more clearing the schedule for an hour or two for a carefully planned-out video chat session with the entire squad. Now the people we want to spend time with the most are so close to us, and we can talk to them or hang out whenever we like. The best part? Now we actually get to talk in person, something we have looked forward to the moment we left for university.
9. Long-Awaited Hugs
Long distance and the occasional wish-I-were-there feeling that comes with it don't just apply to romantic relationships. It's also friendship and familial relationships, and there are moments in university as out-of-state or province students where we just really need a hug from our loved ones, but can't have because of distance. But now that we are back with people we love, all the wait is over and we can finally get a much needed hug from them.
10. We Are Finally Home
We have spent a very long time in our hometown, after all. The sense of belonging will rarely be found anywhere else, and knowing that we have had so many beautiful memories with so many people we love here is what makes coming home such a wonderful experience. Our nostalgia will finally be resolved for a while, and there are many more memories that we will be able to make for the short, yet long awaited time we get to spend here.
For me, I started a countdown on how many more days there are until I get to go home somewhere around October, and now that exams are over, I can finally come home and spend time with people I love doing things I have missed. I am sure the holidays will be amazing for you now that you will be able to spend them with the people you cherish the most.
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