After spending a lovely few days in Vermont for Thanksgiving, I returned to campus today. This is what I have learned: I miss a lot of aspects of my old life, but I also am glad to be in this new environment; in fact, my life at Harvard is easier in some ways! Here are some mini-lists, interspersed with some recent photography!
Things I miss:
1. Fresh _____ (food, towels, air, sheets, silverware, etc.) There is nothing like the clean air of Vermont, and living in a city is quite the contrast. While my lungs miss the fresh air, my skin misses the fresh sheets and towels. This could easily be solved by increasing the frequency of my laundry runs, and has been ameliorated by the smuggling of ANOTHER towel from home to my dorm room. Laundry is normally not my top priority, but I’m not lazy enough to have it done by Harvard Student Agencies (although that’s offered, for those of you who are repulsed by dirty clothes). As for food and silverware, this is another problem that I could probably solve. Although Annenberg is very good for the number of people it serves, I miss the fresh veggies and fruits that my mom would bring home every day. Shaw’s is just a short trip by T, and I technically could go out and purchase some delicacies for my fresh food fix. (For silverware, please see ‘laundry’ above.)
2. My old friends!
This is not Harvard’s fault; it is just part of growing up. I had to start a new life at college, and that means losing a lot of contact with my friends, who are at colleges such as Middlebury, Denver, and Queens or living and working across the country. I miss them a TON, especially my lovely friends Tucker and Georgie, who happen to be chillin’ on the West Coast. This problem, too, will be solved by J-term: FLYING TO LAX!
It’s really, really fun to drive on dirt roads. If you’ve never done it before, you’re missing out.
4. My family
Okay, so I miss my mom. And my dad. And my stepdad, my sister, my half-sister, my dog, and my cat. But video chatting on iChat is the best! It was awesome catching up with them all over Thanksgiving break, as well as an extension of this family in the form of cousins, uncles, and aunts.
5. Vermont itself!
I hail from the best state in the Union, no doubt. We have maple syrup, cider, and leaves: you know that. We also have COWS, TREES, MOUNTAINS, FLANNEL, TRACTORS, MY HOUSE, MUD SEASON, STICK SEASON, 6 MONTHS OF WINTER, THE ONLY CAPITAL WITHOUT A MCDONALDS, THE BEST SWIMMING HOLES, GORGEOUS RIVERS AND LAKES, AND NOT THAT MANY PEOPLE!!! Maybe you can tell that ILOVERMONT.
Things I Don’t Really Miss That Much:
Okay, so it may be slightly contradictory, but driving isn’t always the best. Not paying for gas, worrying about speeding tickets or about where you’re going to stay the night in poor weather is very pleasing. As much as cars are fun, they are also a pain and a drain (of cash), and I’d rather be outside walking in the cold air than trying to drive with these crazy Boston drivers!
2. Living at Home
Don’t get me wrong: I have the best house in the entire world, the best family I could ever ask for, and live in the best state. Here at Harvard, though, I don’t have to cook my own meals, do my dishes, worry about making a fire when I get home (yay heating!), share the dessert, feed the dog, or drive an hour to find a town! The Boston area is incredible; there’s everything you need, from British candy at Cardullo’s, to hot-pot in Chinatown… it’s really the perfect city for me, and not too overwhelming for a country girl.
3. The Endless Winter
I am a huge snowboarding/skiing enthusiast. Vermont is a great place to do both of those things, but by the time March rolls around, it’s getting a little old. The temperate climate of Cambridge (comparatively, to Northern New England) is really, really nice. For example: there was 6 inches of packing snow in Vermont over break, and it was about 35 degrees most of the time. In Cambridge, there is no snow, it’s around 48 degrees, and spring comes a lot earlier. Way to go, Massachusetts! I really dig this weather!
4. My Old Classes
Though my four courses may or may not be kicking my butt right now, they’re waaaay better than the eight I had to take in high school. Having a bajillion courses to choose from is something very novel to me, so I spend a preposterous amount of my free time drooling over all of my options. (Yes, I have already decided on my second-semester courses, but that remains a surprise until I finalize my schedule!) Harvard is great because you can take any class you want to and be guaranteed an incredible professor, as long as you check the handy-dandy Q guide (rating system) to see just what you’d be getting yourself into. There’s nothing quite like the level of academics here, and I sure am glad to have access to all this learnin’!
5. Wondering Just What To Do Tonight…
I am now at college, where the number of people in my class exceeds the number of people in my town. Therefore, there are plenty of things going on, which can be seen here. Examples of my week ahead: Eleganza (a fashion show) fundraiser, Opps–Kroks jam (super great a cappella groups), band rehearsal, Little Shop of Horrors, and House Formals. There is no way to become bored here! One would truly have to try in order to do nothing.
So that’s it! School’s great, home’s great, but they each’ve their own pros and cons. I am very excited to go home after finals, but I think I’ll be even more excited to come back to start second semester. (Yes, this is a little premature….) Check out some of my photos of Vermont!