This Thanksgiving break, pretty much every student went home to see their families and their friends from high school. The thought of home is a welcome idea when you've been continuously bombarded with papers, tests, and weekend tomfoolery for two months straight.
But for me at least (and I don't think I'm alone), each return home becomes less and less like returning home and instead becomes more like traveling away from home. I'm not saying that I love Geneseo to the point where I'll never move away after graduating and devote my entire life to having a building named after me; quite the opposite actually. I've come to believe that home is not where my old bedroom is, it's where my future is.
Hear me out on this one. Every semester since your freshman year you slip up more and more and say, "I'm going home" instead of "I'm going back to my room/apartment." This seems to be the first sign of things to come. Next, your friends at school completely and utterly takeover your AIM buddy list. Your high school friends and your siblings go from the top to the group aptly named "procrastination away messages." Old memories of high school are pushed aside in favor of college experiences.
Next is the change that you see within your circle of friends when you go back to your hometown. Everyone meets when you come back on breaks and you wear your hoodie with your school's name on it to remind your friends of where you currently live nine months out of the year. Maybe everyone starts the conversation out with old time stories, but invariably the discussions lead to stories that happened to you at school. A pseudo-contest erupts where you attempt to top your friend's best story from college.
Then of course there is the friend that either didn't go to college or dropped out and claims that he/she will eventually go back. They become more alienated as time goes on because now they can't share anything college-related with you. Most of your friends provide you with the same feeling of nostalgia that a picture might posses: just a reminder of the past.
Your family runs into a similar problem. You, of course, change drastically as the years pile on. You talk more learnedly, spouting words that most parents can only react to with a smile and nod. You mature and can finally have conversations with those annoying siblings. Your opinions change - maybe you were ultra-conservative in high school and now you find yourself picking political fights with Uncle Bob and Grandma.
I hope no one experiences all of these changes, but we experience many of these. I suppose all it can do is show us that the future is upon us and our lives are about to drastically change whether we're ready for it or not. In the coming years, "home" will slowly become a plastic sign to be hung on our backs for easy transport. Of course, to a degree, our close friends will remain close and our family will always be there for us, but the feeling of security and familiarity associated with home will uproot and adapt to our budding lives. The feeling is slightly frightening, but at the same time it's invigorating to know that we have the opportunity to create a home of our own.