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COLUMN

A Visit Home

Jyoti Tibrewala

The recent long weekend afforded me my first chance to take a trip home. It seemed like the perfect way to spend a four-day reprieve from classes. And I had been planning for that weekend almost since the beginning of classes (people have also told me that I had been talking about it non-stop since then).

Well, I was right about it being a good idea. I got to spend time with my family, catch up with old friends, and visit my high school. I’d be lying if I said that I was also able to get a good deal of my homework done; I had hoped to, but I knew that it wouldn’t happen -- I don’t think I need to explain myself there. It was also great to get all kinds of extra attention from my parents; they spent so much more time with me than they ever used to when I was living at home. Hopefully, it lasts for my next few visits too.

On my return trip, I was traveling with a couple of other MIT students I had run into at LaGuardia Airport in New York and at Logan Airport here. Even though I was with fellow students, I don’t think I fully realized that I was coming back. (At LaGuardia, someone who apparently noticed my MIT keychain asked me where I lived and I replied with the name of my hometown.) When the taxi dropped us off in front of Baker, I don’t think I had realized I was back. I don’t even think I realized it when I got off the elevator in McCormick (the kind of answer my airport acquaintance was looking for). It finally hit me when someone told me that I had a message from home -- at least an hour after I had actually gotten back. And then I felt something I was only vaguely familiar with: homesickness.

It’s quite surprising that I hadn’t felt it sooner. After all, I had been here for six weeks already. That was actually one thing I was worried about coming here -- being homesick. By here I don’t mean MIT in particular, but leaving for college. I don’t mean to say that in six weeks I have never thought of home and my family; I’ve just never missed them. That struck me as weird since I like to consider myself a family person. If you can believe it, I was almost disappointed in myself for not missing home.

Well, there simply had to be an explanation for this. Was I so engrossed in my studies and my activities? Have I really been that busy?

I didn’t think so. But then again, people are always talking about how there are so many things going on here. I never doubted that, but I really didn’t think that it was so true. I guess it is. That’s a relief.

Looking back, I’d say that the strangest part of my nostalgia (if you would even call it that) would be the fact that it lasted for all of ten minutes (at most). As soon as I finished returning my parents’ phone call, I caught up with some friends, and I didn’t feel homesick anymore. In fact, I’m starting to feel quite at home.