As much as we might try to fight it, moving away from home changes things. Surrounding yourself with a community of people at Dartmouth, be they from your floor or your late nights in Robo, is an incredible opportunity to build relationships that blur the lines between friend and family. But what does this mean for the people back home?
Leaving our hometowns has meant having to sacrifice some of the time spent casually bonding and chit-chatting with our assorted kin. Erin’s family used to gather every week for a lavish Shabbat dinner, during which everyone shared the week’s highlights over wine and challah. Marina’s would migrate to the living room each Sunday to eat dinner and watch a movie (or the beginnings of three movies, because her dad is all kinds of picky).
Letting go of these little traditions, of the things that are impossible when we no longer live within arm’s distance from our families, has been hard.
But it’s also been rewarding. Neither of us has a Dartmouth family full of alumni bursting at the seams to talk to us about the bonfire and how frat row is getting along these days. We do have families who are enthusiastic to learn about our new lives and experiences, however.
We’ve both learned how important it is to make time for that phone call during the treacherous walk home from the library, and we’ve realized just how valuable it is to maintain the connections that used to be so easy. We’ve also somehow managed to get closer to our flesh and blood despite the miles between us (with the help of Skype). Something about being apart puts small disagreements in perspective and makes us realize that our parents are actually people ... go figure.