Living in New Mexico, it can be somewhat of a challenge to go back for every break – with no direct flights and the resulting expensive tickets, I’m usually stuck back East while nearly all my friends go visit friends and family in their hometowns. For every fear I had coming this far from college of never being able to visit home or of being isolated during the vacations, I’ve found friends who have been more than willing to open their homes and offer a place for me and the plenty of other students who come to our campus from across the nation and world.
This year, my friend Kristen ’12, a fellow Mather House resident, invited me to go stay with her and her family at their home. Days after Harvard-Yale Weekend, which my fellow bloggers have covered from all angles, I turned in a problem set, packed my bag, and took the next bus to Cape Cod with Kristen where her family lives. This was actually my first overnight trip in Massachusetts outside of the Boston area; I’m admittedly very often stuck in the Harvard Bubble where so many interesting events are going on, all my friends are, and a steady pile of schoolwork ensures I remain tied to my desk for much of the week. So needless to say, I was excited to get out and take a small vacation before finals period.
Over the few days, we visited the beach where I encountered the seagulls I only previously saw through postcards of Cape Cod, attended a high school football rivalry game, watched my first episode of Glee (I will admit, I judged this show before watching any of it), and joined Kristen’s extended family for Thanksgiving dinner. Coming from a family where we put hot spices into pretty much anything that hits the table, it was great to also experience the diversity of holiday traditions by visiting friends. The weather may have been cold – certainly a foreshadowing to what is to come in the winter – but the food and company were certainly warm. Joining Kristen and I was another friend from Mather House who was with her mother visiting from Manchester, UK.
Through Harvard’s House system through which upperclassman live, I’ve made many great friends. My only hope now is that they’ll visit my family as well out in New Mexico!