I am going home for the first time in three months on Saturday. Naturally, I’m excited to see my family after such a long time, but I have to wonder why I am not as gung-ho about the whole idea as I would have been about three years ago. I have developed both a physical and an emotional attachment to my home at school. I love the quaintness and personality of room, even if it is too small for two people. My sorority sisters are my family and the house is a constant source of energy–there is always someone to talk to or something to do. Support from my friends, professors and even acquaintances at school has become somewhat like my mother’s advice —critical but also understanding. What factors make a place “home” to the person who lives there?
This summer is the first time in a while that I am living away from home. I will have another roommate or set of roommates and another space to grow accustomed to. I consider myself adaptable. I believe there have been instances where my home away from home, whether it was a dorm room or three-person cabin at a sleep away camp, have not been ideal, causing me to change rooms or find a new roommate. Sometimes I wonder had I stuck with my housing arrangements, would I be more adaptable? Living in new areas with a different person or set of people creates an acceptance for others and a tolerance for habits and beliefs that are different from our own. I think many new homes that start off unfavorably can, over time, become places of comfort.
All experiences are deemed good or bad depending on how a person perceives that experience. Susan might love the new town she lives in because she sees it as an opportunity to meet new people with different interests than her own, while Billy might hate the town because he is far from home and his roommate likes to watch television and he doesn’t. Yes, we are all different and everyone handles new situations differently, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to be more adaptable. Try to look at experiences that could be considered negative as opportunities to grow and learn. Be open to living with new people because you might learn more not only about the person you’re living with, but also more about yourself. A new living arrangement can quickly become a place you find hard to leave because you embraced it with an open mind.