Word from the Real World: Jolijt Tamanaha

The strangest thing about leaving for college is going back home. It’s beyond weird to pack a suitcase, board a plane, land in a place, and hug people that used to be so everyday and now feel so far away.
Throughout all of Thanksgiving break, I wondered how real my life at college is. Cooking dinner while my friends sat around the kitchen laughing made it feel like I’d never left, like I had imagined moving out. But as soon as I landed back in St. Louis, I realized that my life here is far from fake because I had missed my WashU friends.
So I now live in a permanent state of missing people. Everywhere I go there are people somewhere else that I want to see. In the midst of all the Christmas build up, not a day goes by that I don’t think about NY.
While the people at WashU became my good friends, my good friends at home became family. They are who I see on holidays, call when I’m homesick, and love unconditionally. To explain myself to friends at home takes significantly fewer words than to friends here because the ones at home watched me grow up. They know who I was when I was twelve and who I am now. They remember the terrible things I wore and the dumb things I said. They see what I do—the decisions I make—and they immediately understand why.
At the same time, it’s nice to be away, to have to explain myself, to get a fresh start. My friends here and I stay up for hours talking, listening, and laughing. We’ve decorated our common room to take the edge off of the holiday homesickness. Slowly but surely this campus is becoming our second home. When I leave for winter break, I’ll think about them every day.
I’m going to be stuck missing people for the rest of my life but I am happy that I have people who I love enough to miss.


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