A little T.L.C.

During my freshman year, I NEVER went home.  I just loved Harvard too much.  I remember the first time I went home was for Thanksgiving – a whole four days – and it felt like the longest 5,760 minutes of my life (not that I was counting).  I wanted to be “back in the Pack” (or my freshman dorm Pennypacker) in my amazing room with all of my friends, and I never wanted to leave.  The five weeks of J-term seemed like five lifetimes (I returned to campus early to take cooking courses), and by the time Spring Break rolled around, I was desperately looking for other options.

My dad and I at a Pittsburgh Penguins game during last Spring Break

Now before you start thinking I have a terrible home life, I must assure you that nothing could be farther from the truth.  I am the oldest of five children, and no one in the world gives me more love and acceptance and happiness than my parents and those kids.  No matter what I am doing, I can always count on six fans that think I am the greatest thing since cooked meat.

Which is probably why after a year of seeing my family only intermittently, I came home from Barcelona and realized, “Hey wait.  I actually miss these people a lot.”  So when my mom called me a week ago and asked if I could fly home for a few days this weekend, my ready response was, “um… YES!”

So here I am in Pittsburgh on a Saturday night playing homebody, and taking a break from studying for midterms to write to you guys.  This morning, I was awoken by my two brothers jumping on me at the unnatural hour of 9:30 am, and I spent the majority of the day studying and catching up with my sisters.  This time last year I would probably be crying and texting my friends back at Harvard wondering what I was missing and what crazy adventures they were up to.  But right now, I don’t even know where my phone is (oh great… 24 hours at home, and I’ve already lost my phone), and I feel just dandy having had a fantastic home cooked meal.

When I left home for college a year ago, my greatest fear was not “will I be able to make friends?” or “what if the dining hall food is awful?” or “what if I come back to my dorm to find my roommates sticking a voodoo doll of me with a pin?”  My greatest fear was “what if after I leave, I come home and find that I can no longer integrate myself into my family?  What if my youngest brother who is 10 years younger than I am grows up feeling like I was never a part of his life?  What will happen when my sister starts Middle School, or my other sister gets her license, or my brother loses his first tooth, and I’m not there to be apart of it?”  Once I arrived at Harvard, I got so wrapped up in what I was doing, I momentarily forgot about these worries.

The truth is all of these things do happen.  It’s not like my family has stopped functioning because I’m not there – my sister still goes to school without me to drive her and my brothers still play hockey without me in the stands.  But what I have learned is that it’s not so hard to re-integrate yourself back into the family life.  The time you spend with your family just becomes that much more valuable.

Because life is so busy and exciting at Harvard, I don’t know when I’ll next be able to sneak away for a weekend at home (or if I’ll want to).  But I have really enjoyed my weekend home (which is all I was going to write before I started going off about family this and family that, and this post got so long).

Hope everyone else is having a great weekend!

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  1. zynergiebaker’s avatar

    your story will serve as an inspiration to those young people who want’s to apply at harvard..

  2. zynergiebaker’s avatar

    i have read your story, you’re lucky that you got in :)…and i think, your story will serve as an inspiration to those young people who want to apply at Harvard…goodluck and godbless.

    btw im from philippines
    i’m a mechanical engineering student
    at the National University.

    gudluck ^ ^

  3. Aldi’s avatar

    Hay Kate, I am Aldhiaz Pradipta. I am from Surabaya, Indonesia and I want to get college in Harvard next year. how can I signing up in Harvard when I were in Asia? I would greatly appreciate if you help. School at Harvard is my dream

  4. Aldi’s avatar

    Hay Mrs, I am Aldhiaz Pradipta. I am from Surabaya, Indonesia and I want to get college in Harvard next year. how can I signing up in Harvard when I were in Asia? I would greatly appreciate if you help. School at Harvard is my dream

  5. anne’s avatar

    you are so lucky!

    1. Kate Meakem’s avatar

      Thanks anne!

    2. Siavash’s avatar

      why my comment is awaiting moderation??

    3. Fayaz’s avatar

      ohhh, how much i wish i could be at your place :S
      i am doing my Undergraduates and plan to do my Graduation from Harvard and be a LEGEND
      and thank you for multiplying my motivation with that text 🙂

      1. Kate Meakem’s avatar

        Hahahaha! Best of luck to you! and thank you (also, i wish I could be a legend one day… not sure it’s in the cards though).

      2. Mariam’s avatar

        Wow you are so lucky. I am from England, currently doing GCSEs and I really want to go to Harvard University. I really hope I get in and study at the Top University ever 🙂

        1. Kate Meakem’s avatar

          Thanks Mariam! Best of luck on all of your studying and tests (I am sooooo glad the US doesn’t do GCSEs… they sound terrible)

        2. Nkem’s avatar

          Wow lucky, you make life at Harvard sound so bright and interesting. I am 16, a junior in high school and looking for colleges and scholarships that will help me get far from home (not that I don’t love my family, I do really) but the worries that you had about getting close to your family again after you leave occupy my mind even though I’m not in college (but looking forward to it immensely) anways I seem to be rambling. I love your story and I hope I can get in and share you experience. Enjoy life, cheers

          1. Kate Meakem’s avatar

            When I applied to school, I decided that I wasn’t going to even consider schools within a 5 hour drive from my home in Pittsburgh (Boston to Pittsburgh is a 10 hour drive). Now that I’ve been here a year, I have to say that living close definitely has its perks. For instance, you can go have REAL FOOD whenever you want. You also don’t have to worry about packing to go to school or to go home at the beginning and end of the year — you can throw things in the trunk of your car. Living far is great, but living close isn’t as bad a thing as I once thought…

          2. Julie’s avatar

            Girl, you are so lucky! I would like to have your life at Harvard only for a week. Now, at 17 years old I have a lot of dreams, and I’m wondering how it’s like to study at one of the best colleges. So, good luck!

            1. Kate Meakem’s avatar

              Thanks Julie! Life at Harvard is pretty cool, but sometimes it’s easy for me to take it for granted. Like when you said the thing about wanting my life for a week, my first thought was, “Really? Cause she’s more than welcome to do my two psets, deal with the grade I got on my last midterm, write my paper, and complete my 300 pgs + of reading due this week.” But your comment made me stop and consider how lucky I really am, and made me remember that lucky-feeling I had when I first got into Harvard. Thank you for that.

            2. madi’s avatar

              That was nice. I am from Australia and am looking to come to harvard. I am glad you love it so much, it might just have made me want to go allot more 🙂

              1. Kate Meakem’s avatar

                Oh wow! Australia is certainly far from here… I’ve actually never been! But definitely apply to Harvard. It’s a pretty special place.

              2. Malak’s avatar

                That was cooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!

                Your best friend

                1. Kate Meakem’s avatar

                  Hahaha thanks Malak 😀

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