PHOTO: RACHEL REICH

Year one: A guest in my own home

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By Nicole Di Donato 

My transition to first year university has been extremely challenging. I have had to adjust both mentally and physically to this fast-paced lifestyle and after four weeks of being completely on my own, I was ready to go home and “recharge,” as my parents would say.

I never realized how much I missed living at home until I was sitting in my dad’s car on the way back to my suburban house in Mississauga. Prior to moving out, I never gave much thought to how I would feel coming home. I was so focused on what it would be like to finally live on my own.

Once I arrived at my house, I felt really out of place. Although I was happy and comforted by my mom’s warm smile, my dad’s excessive amount of hugs and my brother’s low-key way of showing he loves and misses me, I couldn’t help but feel like a guest in my own home.

My parents were so insistent on making sure everything was perfect and that I got the best home cooked meal on my first night back. Although it was really sweet to see how much they care about me, that’s when I realized that things would never be the same.

Since moving out, I feel like I have become a lot more responsible and a lot less dependent on my parents, which is a really bittersweet feeling. It’s weird having my parents watching over everything I do after living on my own and having complete freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want.

Spending my weekend at home felt like a vacation. I got to sleep in my comfy queen-sized bed, rather than my tiny, rock-hard twin bed in residence.

Although I worked hard to complete all of my textbook readings and assignments over the weekend, I was still able to relax and make the most of my time with my family. We went out to dinner to Good Fellas, an Italian restaurant we used to go to all the time when I lived at home.

I was surprised to realize how much I missed all the little things, like having my own washroom, being able to focus on my schoolwork without the distraction of having my friends down the hall, and most of all, I missed being surrounded by trees.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a city girl down to the very core, but I must admit that it was nice being able to go home to my quiet hometown and watch as the leaves of trees change colours, signaling the arrival of fall.

Oddly enough, at the same time, those very things are what I missed about Toronto.

Living in the heart of downtown Toronto has been such an exciting and enlightening experience, as there is always something to do. While at home, I craved being surrounded by big buildings and hearing angry cab drivers honking while driving through the city.

Although I believe going home was necessary in order for me to maintain my sanity, I missed the hustle and bustle of the big city and was truly excited to come back and hear about all the crazy things my friends did over the weekend.

I look forward to going home over the holidays, but for now, I will enjoy living alone in the big city.

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