Home Isn’t Just One Thing

by Tiya

Over the course of 4 days, I have been in 4 countries.

When I woke up the morning after I arrived in Pennsylvania, my immediate reaction (in thoughts) as I looked around was “Why am I here? I don’t like this”. Don’t get me wrong – I am extremely excited be back at college, and I have missed my other “family” here. But the thought of looking out a window every day and not being able to see dirt roads, palm trees, goats and chickens scrambling across the street, and all the other seemingly little things I associate with the word “home” makes me feel quite alone.

Yet, in a physical sense, I am the farthest thing from alone. Left, right and centre I pretty much always have people around me. I can tolerate this for a couple of hours, but when I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough. I need to go off an do my own thing. I need to recharge. If I don’t, I behave like a child who had a late night and too early of a morning to function.

I just moved into my dorm on Friday morning. It was quick and slightly painful for my skinny fingers and rather unfit arms. Nevertheless it was done much faster than it would have been, had I moved in with a bunch of other people on the same day.

It really does feel like Freshman year all over again, except this time I have friends. Rephrased, it feels like Freshman year and friends just magically appeared. It is funny though; a little over a week ago, I was too far away to see any of them without a couple of planes.

The last thing I want to do is pity myself. Yes, it is crazy that I was on the other side of the globe just eight days ago. Yes, I will need time to readjust from lazy and (almost) carefree African lifestyle my to my American college state of mind (no pun intended…). And yes, I am sitting here on my bed in my dorm, thinking about what it would be like if there were no goodbyes, how pretty the tree outside my window is (and how much prettier it will look with snow on it later on), and what the first day of classes will be like today.

I know the picture today isn’t the best. I will be lugging my camera around campus to take some shots.