So Far Yet So Close

December 29, 2007
After all the “goodbye”s and “take care of yourself”s, I was left alone with my suitcases, no longer hearing those voices comforting me. It was the first time I was actually all by myself. For the last two months it had always been hurry and I couldn’t find time to question my own thoughts. Everything had happened too fast. Few weeks ago, I was home, packing up my stuff and now I was standing in the middle of the room, the room which I was supposed to call “home” for the next five years. I looked around, the beds and desks were still empty. My heart sank, there were no memories in that room. Nothing that could keep me there, nothing that reminded me of my past, no posters, no photos, not even my silly stuffed toys. Absolutely nothing. Suddenly, it seemed really hard to imagine a day when I would sit there chatting and laughing with my friends. After all, they would be my second family. But I didn’t know if I could ever completely feel that I was home.

While I was trying to get used to this new place, I felt as if there were two different people with opposite ideas, inside my mind. Both of them were telling about their own feelings, and making me even more confused. A part of me was a free spirit, and couldn’t be any happier than being on her own, standing on her own feet, facing the difficulties all by herself. I had always wanted to become a border during my high school life, so why was I filled with another feeling that was neither similar to joy nor happiness? A part of me was still timid; her tears always ready to fall down, facing a whole new feeling that overcame the others: loneliness.

As I was unpacking my clothes, I thought I had been wrong by thinking I would get used to a new school and new life easily. Because I was supposed to handle both of these situations at the same time: being away from my family and studying in a different school system. I have made a new start in my life and now I was going to learn how to move ahead in this new way by myself. I wasn’t regretful though, because I knew that at some point in my life, soon or late, I was going to make a decision like that. While I was full of these thoughts that echoed in my mind, my door was half opened by a slim, dark haired girl. It was my roommate. I was fairly relieved by seeing a friendly face, her eyes shining so bright. At least now I had someone to talk to. She smiled at me, I knew we would become close friends, I smiled at her back.

I woke up at 6 am because of the fire alarm that had gone off. Later I learned that it wasn’t a fire alarm, it was just a simple alarm to wake the students up. “New rules”, I thought. During the breakfast I looked at all the new faces in the dining hall. I was still a little shy, but I realized that most of the students were in the same situation like me. They had come from different school and nobody knew each other. The first questions were all the same: where are you from, and which school did you go to? By the end of the day, I had met many people and trying to memorize their names. One day had passed; I couldn’t prevent myself from thinking “how many more do we have left?” I fell asleep while counting them.

The first months seemed really boring. Go to school, and go back to the dorm, the same thing over and over again… We had nothing to do after school till study hours, when we had no other alternative then studying. It was like a prison where we were surrounded by a plenty of rules, which didn’t leave us enough space to have fun. We hated that. But one day I started not to feel like that, I don’t exactly know when it happened, but I was there sitting on the sofa with my friends and advisor watching a horror movie at 11 pm, with a huge popcorn cup on our lap. And then there I was studying my midterm with my roommate at 5am with many cups of coffee in our hands, with our eyes surrounded by red circles. Then, we were 6 people in my room after the lights went out, trying not to make much noise but couldn’t stop ourselves from laughing. I knew I had gone beyond that barrier, now it was me, my friends and my dorm. They had brought meaning to my life.

I was thinking about that first day, during my birthday party in my dorm this year. We were listening to music aloud and eating some snacks, when I had that flashback. It had been two years since my first day, first worries, and first friendships. I looked at my dearest friends, who were there for me celebrating my happy day. I had made it; I had stood on my own feet and hadn’t given up. I felt lucky because they were there for me when I felt alone or sad, and again there for me to share my happiness. They were my family. Now, I look forward to turn back to my second home, a place where I can call “home” with all my heart.

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