COLUMN: Away from campus blues


Ellen Dooley, Columnist

Usually, I would be writing from my ever-so-comfortable Andrews Hall, but I am back home in my Chicago-land suburbs. After being home for about a week, I have felt the need to re-adjust back home. I did not think I would miss the communal bathrooms, noisy neighbors, or even dining hall food. Actually- I think I could do without that last one. But I am missing my second home in Charleston.  

It is hard leaving some of my newfound friends that I would see every day. Now we just text back and forth about our lives back home. I miss the freedom of hanging out with them until the sun rises. They were my supporters, friends, and my second family. Trust me, I really missed some of my friends from back home, but it felt different almost living with my campus friends.  

One big adjustment was my independence. Every so often, I think it is okay to make a trip at midnight to McDonald’s. Then I remember that I am living in a house with other people who would wonder where I went. Now I get the famous “will you be home for dinner” text from my mom. It seems Taco Bell every night is not an acceptable dinner choice for my mom.  

Now do not get it wrong, being at home has its benefits. I no longer have to stock up on dining hall plastic wear in fear of running out of forks. I also can leave my laundry in the dryer at night and not fear my clothes being scattered around a communal laundry room. The best part is seeing my dearly missed cats. I cannot tell you how many times I just remember I have cats near me and get up to find them.  

But for some people, going back home can be a rough time. They may face a non-supportive family, dead names, or misgendering every day for three months straight.

For my friends who face this- hang in there. Soon you will be back to the people who support you and you can reclaim who you are. No matter where you are in life, where you live will surely be an adjustment with every move from here to there.

Sometimes you will look forward to being back home, but you may also look forward to living back on a busy, lively campus. Sometimes you will miss the other one so much that you count down the days until you hop back on the road or start packing up again.  

Ellen Dooley is a Sophomore Special Education Standard Major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]