Ask most students who live outside the New England area, and I believe many would agree with me that holidays away from home can be one of the hardest parts of being away at college. As classes were finishing up last week, many students hopped in cars and were able to be home in just a few hours to celebrate Easter weekend with their families. While I had received a lovely Easter care package from home and could not be more excited to see my family who is coming to visit this weekend from Minnesota and Wisconsin, I was lucky enough to be included in a friend’s family Easter celebration and got to experience a bit of New England life by going home with him to New Hampshire.
There is something about seeing school friends in their home life that adds an entirely new dimension to our perceptions of them, and the memories that are made by being together in these settings are that much more special because they have “let us in” and trusted us with another part of their lives. Looking back on freshman year, two of my favorite weekends were spent exploring the North Shore of Boston with one of my hallmates when we went to her house, and visiting another friend in New York City during JanPlan break. This past weekend was no exception—from being able to see where my friend went to high school after hearing so much about it, to meeting some of his friends, to meeting family pets (including over 20 chickens!), to being included in family traditions such as an “egg war” (in which you battle to try and crack each others’ hard boiled eggs, with an eventual winner), I was thoroughly immersed in this lovely family and their New England town and traditions. His family could not have been more welcoming, and his parents fed us amazing homemade food, spoiled me with an Easter basket filled with chocolates and many thoughtful additions, and took the time to talk, laugh, and share their home and family life with me.
Stuffed, well rested, and fully pampered, it took a lot of effort to get in the car to head back to school Sunday night knowing I was coming back to a week full of class and lots of work. However, in addition to the delicious muffins and bags of snacks we were heading back with, I have pictures and memories that will stay with me as a highlight of this year and that will carry me through all the work ahead. I owe a huge thank you to the Moore family as I doubt they fully realize how much it meant to be included in their family when I couldn’t be with my own, and it epitomizes that the Colby community truly does exist past Mayflower Hill!