After I take my last final on Dec. 18, I’ll be boarding a plane to spend about a month at home in California. For a while I have been counting down to this day, and I thought I would never be able to contain my excitement. I believed that finals week was going to go by smoothly soon because soon I would be traveling back to my family and back to the comfort of my own house.
But my excitement has completely disappeared. I don’t want to go home as eagerly as I used to. I find myself wishing that I had more time here to spend with my friends before I start second semester. Once I come back, I start sorority recruitment, and my schedule will become so hectic. I’ll have to start taking brand new classes (like many other unlucky freshmen, I got stuck with an 8 a.m.) and get to know new teachers. It’s scary to think that the schedule that I am so used to following this semester, both for my classes and for my social life, will change completely. I don’t want it to change. I don’t want to start all over again with a new semester. And mostly, I don’t want to go home.
Going home is the affirmation that second semester is around the corner. It also means that I have to face all of the people I tried to avoid in Los Angeles. If I had a hard time going back for Thanksgiving break, which was less than a week, then I will definitely have a difficult time going back for three weeks. I had planned to visit so many different locations with my friends, spots that we used to go to when we were all together in high school. But the excitement of revisiting these places has worn off, and I no longer look forward to it. Of course I’m still looking forward to seeing my friends, but just like Thanksgiving break, I know that every time we hang out, things will be awkward. We have all pretty much found our place in college and have settled in to a new home with new friends. Going back home to the people and places that hold old memories might seem exciting for most people, but to me, it just makes me scared.
Looking back, I am so surprised that I did not fall in love with Boston earlier. It’s as if I did a complete 180. For a while, I felt that my sadness about being so far away from home would never disappear. I thought it would lead me to transferring to a school back home, something I never thought I would want to do. I was stuck in a negative mindset and no one could get me out of it, especially not myself.
But I was finally able to pull myself out of this depression. I was able to see all the wonderful things that Boston and Boston University could offer me. My negative mindset completely dropped, and I was looking at everything with a new, positive perspective. I didn’t have to follow any mantra or read any self-help book about getting adjusted into college. It just occurred to me that the place that I’m living in is not as bad as I thought it was. In fact, it’s much better than the place I grew up in originally — cleaner air, less traffic (hard to believe but it’s true) and friendlier people.
Although I will always love L.A. (because who doesn’t instantly fall in love with our lovely weather and laidback lifestyle?), I now have a new love for Boston. In many ways, it’s the polar opposite of my hometown. For a while, I thought I could never love a place that is so different from what I’m used to. I would obsess over my old pictures of my favorite places in L.A. I would listen to my Cali playlist all day, making my self upset that I wasn’t there anymore. I would try to ignore the cold weather and pull off tank tops and sandals and would then get disappointed that it was so freezing outside. But I knew that these habits would have to stop because no matter what I did, I would be in Boston for the year. So I did make myself stop. I made myself appreciate the new beauty around me. And now, I never want to leave this new place. My first semester at BU has been a hectic one, but it will definitely be one that I will always remember.
Rachel Chistyakov is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences a weekly columnist for The Daily Free Press. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.