After a long summer away from my writing desk, aka whatever medium allows me to write with my laptop on my lap, I have returned with more worldly wisdom and over-easy eggs benedict sorts of guidance.
St Andrews doesn’t start up again until September 18th, and I have exactly one week from the moment I started this blog post until my flight leaves to bonny Scotland. I have to say, I am excited to be back in my element, reading too many books and writing too many essays.
But, in this meantime, I have been back and forth to Williamsburg to rekindle old flames with my friends and my freshman hall that my best friend is an RA in. My little sister just moved in a few Fridays ago (welcome home, 2021!) and I have been having waves of nostalgia pass over me like a turbulent storm. I truly love this place, and I miss it every moment I am away. But I also want to be back at St Andrews, knowing there is so much I haven’t yet discovered.
So this post is about coming home. But to which home? Home, for me, is a hard thing to define. Is it where I was raised with my siblings, where I lived for 18 years of my life? Or is it where I truly feel giddiness as I enter the Historic Triangle (and I never get tired of seeing the sign)? Or is it where I made myself and I discovered for the first time the cold fear of being an adult? The answer is probably all of them, but it feels wrong to say so, like picking favourites of your three children.
I could say that all or any of these choices is my true home. And I will never get tired of returning to any one of these places over and over again.
Home is what you make of it. I can very well say that William & Mary is a place I love, but not a home. St Andrews is magical, like a Hogwarts dream, but not a home. Yet I choose to label them in this way.
For me, home is where I know every smile is a real one. Where every moment is one I secretly stash away for myself, almost selfishly. Where I am not afraid of the people, or the words, or the challenges. Where I learn more about myself and the world than ever before.
So when I come back to campus this week before I fly back, I will be coming home. I will be coming home when I return to my new dorm in Scotland. I will be coming home in the spring when I leave Scotland for the last time. These three places have a solid hold on my heart and I wouldn’t trade who I’ve become because of these places.