Coming from the hot and dry part of Texas, I was looking forward to experiencing fall in Oberlin. The sweater weather, hot tea lattes, and colorful leaves definitely did not disappoint.
I had never experienced a cold autumn before this year, so there were some aspects I had to get used to, but otherwise I was glad to spend my autumn in Oberlin. I would send my dad weekly photos documenting the leaves changing colors and he would get enthusiastic about a midwestern autumn with me. Regardless of these exciting things going on and how often my parents and I would talk, I felt a bit of the infamous first-year homesickness and was excited to go home for a week during fall break.
When I flew back and landed in Texas, my first thought was that I had never realized how much El Paso smelled like dust. It was definitely interesting to think that only two months away from my hometown had altered my perspective of it, but this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Other things changed, too: I didn’t realize how much I missed warm, dry weather or late night drives to Sonic with my friends.
The time away made me that much more grateful for all my experiences and friends back home. Seeing my friends and family who still lived in El Paso was nice, but I also realized that most of my high school friends were also on their own journeys at their respective colleges or universities and I probably wouldn’t see them until winter or summer break.
Though I had plenty to keep me busy in my hometown, I couldn’t help but miss being in Oberlin. I even kept referring to my dorm as “home,” whenever I would talk to my parents about my roommate or tell them how college was going. Without even realizing it, Oberlin was becoming my home and I had built close connections to those around me.
It was a bit of a weird feeling at first, to feel split between two places over fourteen hundred miles apart, but I’m grateful to have a community in both El Paso and Oberlin. I’ve learned much about myself in both places and have definitely grown as a person since I was last home. Though no matter how far from home I’ll be, I won’t forget about my loved ones back home. Oh, and I’ll be craving candy and snacks that I can’t find in Ohio. (Pro-tip for incoming first-years: Don’t pack minimally just because some college forum tells you to. I brought back dozens of photos and plenty of Mexican candy when I returned from fall break.)
Fall break is a greatly anticipated week, especially for first-year students who miss home.It helped me realize that I wouldn’t want to be at any other school, even if it were closer to El Paso. You make your home where you are and become close to those around you, almost as if y’all had known each other for years.
As odd as it may sound, I’m excited to spend this upcoming Thanksgiving with my close friends here and experience something new.