Sitting in the TECH Center, a girl reads, “Sara Spink has posted a comment on your wall.” Her eyes widen as her lips form into a smile. It is obvious that this connection has brought her some joy.
There is a certain sense of elation in connecting with someone, even if online. As college students, it is hard to find a place in this world. But with the Internet and a little imagination, the concept of home is slightly abstract, but not always distant.
Coming home is a funny thing. For most students, home was a strange concept from the minute we stepped into a dormitory. It is hard to decide whether we belong here, there or anywhere.
The end of the semester is here once again. Some Temple students will head to their parents’ houses and others will stay put in their cozy apartments.
This winter break, aunts and uncles are bound to ask when we will graduate, and friends will ask where we plan to live next year. It’s hard to predict what will happen after graduation. Employment? Graduate school? Backpacking across Europe? The possibilities are endless.
Beyond the plan of action, there is also the point of location. The problem is not always where we could find work or where we might live. In sifting through this vat of confusion, we have to find a place to call home.
As finals creep up and the holiday season swoops in, the feeling that “there is no place like home,” nestles into our hearts. The hard part is figuring out what that phrase really means.
Still, we can always hop onto the Internet and find a friend or loved one. Keeping in touch with old schoolmates and far-off relatives used to be via snail mail, but not anymore. Maybe home is where your mouse clicks.
The trick is to find the combination in your life that gets you closest to your personal definition of home. Maybe home is with your parents, a favorite hobby, your fiance or even your MySpace page. It does not matter who or what home is, as long as it is found.
For those that find their homes to be distant – or nonexistent – this time of year, can be quite a challenge. Cuddling close to the good things in our lives or even spending some quality time with our laptops might bring us a good dose of cheer. Maybe home is nothing more than an IP address.
Nobody says home must be a tangible thing. For many of us, home is simply an essence of belonging. It might be a place in your family or in a circle of friends.
There is a leap of absurdity involved in finding where we belong. Many of us jump from the frying pan and into the fire. But if we jump carefully – no matter how short or far – it might be the best leap of our lives.
You might not know where your future will be, but it is the end of the semester, and it is time to go home.
This December, head to the places you love, the places you feel comfortable in, and the places that make you feel alive. Sip some eggnog and snuggle up by the fireplace.
And be sure to post a video of it on YouTube so you can have a piece of it when you come back.
Erin Bernard can be reached at email@example.com.