By Katrina Liu

First semester went by in a flash. I can confidently say that while I’m excited to be back at Boston University, I’ve noticed how certain things in my life have changed drastically. 

I realized just how much has changed when I went home and met up with some friends I hadn’t seen since the summer. It was nice going home again — and actually being there for more than a week — but it was different this time, and I don’t think I’ll ever feel completely normal again. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Old friends don’t share the same experiences anymore.

We’re all on our own life journeys now, which is wonderful. It’s amazing to hear how people have triumphed (and failed) so far, and it’s rewarding to see the people I used to spend so much time with growing in their own ways. While it was difficult to hear about experiences I would have been a part of, it was still nice to catch up with everyone.

  1. There’s a hint of nostalgia in the air.

As we shared stories of our college highs and lows, the wanting of simplicity was present in everyone’s smiles. Even though it’s just the beginning and the prospects of our futures is exciting, I know we all wish we were young again and didn’t have the stress of college and life after it.

  1. Your bed at home is now your safe zone. 

No matter how comfy or not comfy your bed is, it’s in tune with your body and the way you sleep. Even if my eyes were closed and I was unaware of my surroundings, the second my back hits the mattress, I would know that I’m lying down in my bed, not the bed I now sleep in for almost nine months out of the year.

  1. You can feel your childhood slipping away — and fast. 

Whether you like home or not, you have so many memories attached to it. Maybe you have the same order at the coffee shop in a specific plaza; maybe the waitress at the local diner still flashes that bright, genuine smile while taking your order; or maybe that stupid traffic light still doesn’t give you enough time to cross the intersection. It’s scary to think that we will start coming home less and less, and then, someday, maybe not even at all.

  1. You can’t rewind time, so you have to just go with it. 

This break, I had more existential late nights than ever. I was so overwhelmed with all these new emotions that it was hard to get my head in the right place. But what I concluded after my winter break at home was that it’s nice — and sometimes dangerous — to reminisce about the past with people who have known you most of your life. It’s also nice to make hopeful plans for the future, whether it be a dream job or place to live. However, I also learned that it’s so important to live in the moment, especially at this point in life. College makes us think about our futures a lot, while our hometowns give a strong sense of nostalgia. But it’s so important to live in the now. 

Enjoy the people around you at home. Enjoy being with family. Enjoy familiarity. Enjoy all these things. Because human beings often crave change, forgetting that the comfort of being home has shaped who they are.