Over fall break, I reconnected with people from my time before attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
I expected to have a good time visiting friends and family from back home. What I did not expect was to feel re-connected with so many people in such a short time period. Fall break is a criminally short four days, so I didn’t think it would be anything more than a fun extended weekend.
After arriving in my hometown near Chicago on Friday night, I headed to the University of Notre Dame (ND) to visit my brother and watch some ND football. The game started at 2:30 p.m., but with the time zone change, I ended up leaving for the game at 5 a.m.
Needless to say, after a long drive back to Illinois just the night before, I was exhausted by the time I pulled up to my brother’s townhouse. I was excited, too.
Over the summer, my brother was in Washington, D.C. and I stayed in Lincoln, meaning I hadn’t seen him since spring break a few months prior. I was a little nervous that after such a long time apart things would be different, that we wouldn’t connect the way we did when we were kids.
Our relationship picked right back up from where we started.
We immediately starting joking around and talking about college football. My brother delivered some shots on Nebraska’s 0-5 start and the overall status of UNL, but I was confident we’d get the win against Northwestern. (We didn’t.)
During these jokes and insults, I felt close to my brother again. Even though I was in a townhouse a few hundred miles away, I felt at home.
We then headed to the parking lot outside the stadium for our parents’ tailgate, where a few other people from my hometown showed up. I hadn’t seen some of these people for at least a couple of years, but it felt like it hadn’t been more than a few days. We all caught up immediately and it felt great to be back around people who were a central part of my elementary and middle school days.
After the trip to Notre Dame, I went back to my hometown for a few days.
When I left for college, I didn’t think I would miss home, much less look forward to coming back. However, after a few years of being in Lincoln, I’ve realized I really do enjoy going back to the place I grew up.
Nothing could have made me feel better about my studies and stresses at school then going home and hanging out with my friends. It was just like old times and I hadn’t laughed as hard in a long time as I did with my friends back home.
I learned that you can always go home, even if it’s just for a long weekend, and still have it feel like the home you know and love.
So remember to go home once in a while. I know it’s exciting to be on your own for the very first time and it’s easy to forget your roots. However, your roots certainly haven’t forgotten you. Revisit them once in a while, both for those you left back home and for your own spirit.