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Having attended a boarding school for the entirety of my secondary education, it is perhaps unfitting for me to write about the joys of going home as, naturally, being away is something I have long been accustomed to. Or, looking at it another way, perhaps having spent much of my childhood away from home is precisely why I would want to write about it. I still get the same sense of excitement and anticipation about returning home now as I did when I was a scruffy, disorganised eleven year old. Relishing the same things now as I did back then – actual meals (shamefully, even after three years at university I am limited to bland pasta dishes and Sharwood’s curries), your own bed, a working shower (a rarity if you’ve ever lived in Bowland accommodation!), and not having lectures. The list goes on.
However, I think that these more tangible, materialistic things can often overshadow the real bonuses of being home. Too often we preoccupy ourselves with notions of Sky+, rent-free accommodation, and a fridge which is seemingly always full. This, I believe, is especially true at Christmas; a holiday which has become so commercialised (I was particularly irked when I heard Christmas songs being played in the Penny Bank on November the sodding seventeenth!) that I fear many of us have lost all sight of what the festivities are actually about. The enjoyment of giving rather than receiving, for example.
The point of this is that we should take a moment to pause and appreciate being at home with our parents – and while I don’t want to add to an already, albeit inadvertently, condescending monologue by reiterating the clichéd mantra of ‘while we’re growing up, they’re growing old’, this is certainly something that is too often overlooked in the hectic hustle and bustle of our student lives.
Being at home will also provide some respite from a term which, especially for second and final years, will have been very busy indeed. And whilst we supposedly attend university for the kind of intellectual stimulation and enrichment which our studies nurture, I find that it also has the paradoxical faculty of fostering our innermost childish behaviour. My conduct on nights out, for example, has – if anything – become worse whilst I have (apparently) become a more intelligent, outgoing and independent individual.
So here’s hoping that, with this in mind, we can make the most of the time spent at home in the safe knowledge that it’s the only break before the typically arduous and depressing Easter term.