The strangest feeling I experienced in the process of leaving my residence hall to head back to the little town of Berryville was when I was packing my clothes for the weekend. When I moved in, I brought all of my clothing with me. While preparing to go home, I realized that this meant I would have to pack outfits for every day of fall break. This concept was incredibly weird for me. Any other occasion that I’d packed up clothes for had involved my leaving Berryville, not going back to it.
Of course, the oddity of the situation wasn’t anything nearly substantial enough to stop me from being excited about my first visit home. In fact, I was so excited that the four-hour drive didn’t bother me at all. My whole family had stayed up to wait for my arrival, and seeing them for the first time since I’d moved in was amazing. All of my little siblings seemed a whole lot taller, and they all have a million things to tell and show me. Somehow, all four of my little sisters ended up sleeping in my room that night.
Other than spending a lot of time with my family, I visited a couple of friends who had timed their visits home to sync up with mine. I got to see my good friend from Kent State in Ohio who I’d been in high school with. It was interesting to see how different things were for her, which gave us both tons of stories to share. I was also lucky enough to see my best friend who is attending George Mason University. It was her birthday, which gave us a chance to explore my little town and visit the new coffee shop that was built during my absence. I was surprised with how much my small town had seemed to change in only a couple of months.
The last thing I did on my first visit home was to stop by my old high school. Although I’m not close with many people who still attend there, I have good relationships with lots of my teachers who contributed a lot of effort and support into helping me become the person I am today. I stopped by my old yearbook class and learned about their new theme and got to look through some pages of the in-progress book, and once school was out I dropped by all my favorite teachers. It was great to be able to thank them yet again and to see how their year was going. However, it seemed like even my school had changed quite a bit. About 10 new teachers had been hired, and one of my favorite teachers from the year before had left to pursue higher education.
Leaving home to head back to Christopher Newport University was bittersweet – I missed everyone on my hall and was excited to continue my classes, but I knew I’d miss my family, friends and town. All in all I had a successful first visit home, but now I’m ready to jump back in and concentrate on working towards finals until Thanksgiving break rolls around! I know I’ll be looking forward to heading home once more and discovering even more changes.