My flight touched down in Salt Lake City at 9:39 p.m. I ran to my mom who was waiting for me with my dog, scooped him up in my arms (he’s 60 pounds) and breathed in the fresh Utah air.
I love going home. As someone who’s from out-of-state – sorry to those who live within driving distance to Chapman, this column will mean nothing to you – it’s a treat for me to go home, especially if I get to visit at a time that’s not dominated by Thanksgiving or Christmas spirit. Because let’s be real, I can only handle so much of my extended family before I’m ready to fake a case of food poisoning so I can go hide and watch “Desperate Housewives.”
That’s why there’s something special about flying home for a weekend. Getting a break from campus and just relaxing. Going to your favorite local restaurants and sleeping on a mattress that didn’t come rolled up in a bag from IKEA.
I have loved this semester so far. I love my roommates and our little house off-campus. But sometimes, I’m really tired of Chapman.
Obviously, I’m tired of going to class every day. I’m tired of the hoard of people that gather outside Beckman. I’m tired of the endless stream of people at Starbucks and the fact that there’s always a weird white tent on Memorial Lawn.
I’m tired of the pressure of going out every Friday night and trying to find parking anywhere in Orange. And as much as the positive aspects of Chapman outweigh the negative, sometimes it’s nice to take a break and leave.
I love the way that the mountains frame my hometown. I love how my house smells. I love not cooking my own meals. I love the fact that Utah has other seasons beside summer. And as much as I love the stereotypical SoCal weather – and I do – it’s nice to be able to wear a sweater every once in a while. And come on, it was 95 degrees this week in Orange. That’s disgusting.
The only problem I’ve discovered with going home is the stigma surrounding it. We shouldn’t make college students feel like they’re missing out by visiting home. There shouldn’t be a push to always be on campus, to always be doing something at Chapman. F.O.M.O. – fear of missing out – is a real thing and even though I was excited to go home this past weekend, F.O.M.O. hit hard. But that shouldn’t be happening! I should be relishing in my days away from Orange, not worrying that I’ll miss out on the photo shoots and inside jokes. I shouldn’t feel like a loser for wanting to spend time at home for a couple of days. That could be accomplished for me – and other students – if we encouraged a trip home every once in a while.
College is a time where we’re able to spread our wings, make new friends and learn how to live on our own as real-life adults. Why not offset that stress by packing a duffel bag and spending some time away from it all?
So although I’m happy to be back at Chapman, I can’t help but look forward to the next time I get to go home. It’s nice to break free from the college slump that occurs as the semester nears its end. Because let’s be honest, it’s better than having a break down and re-watching the One Direction movie for the seventh time this week – although honestly, if you send me a text at this very moment there’s a high likelihood I’m doing just that.