Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the crisp bright leaves and the smell of burning wood in the air. Growing up it was a time for bonfires and roasting marshmallows. Every year we would have a huge Halloween party. We would get in trailers and go through our neighborhood trick-or-treating. The kids were in one trailer and the adults in another. It would take us forever because we were being pulled by a tractor, but that is what made it so fun.
My mom used to tell me stories about when she was in college and her mom would send her care packages at Halloween. Because my Mom grew up in Chicago and went to college in Texas, she never experienced fall at her alma mater. So her mom would send her a box of leaves from her yard just to make her feel less homesick. I think I heard that story a million times.
Two weeks ago I received my Halloween care package. Sure enough, down below all of the candy and the spooky decorations were my leaves. It made me feel happy and sad. Happy to be part of a family tradition and sad because I wasn’t home partaking in the yearly traditions that I loved growing up.
But then I realized something. I was sitting at my desk in my high-rise dorm looking out over campus, and all I saw were the bright colors of fall right out of my window. How lucky I am to be in a campus environment that is so beautiful. I love that when you come into town you can see where the campus begins and ends. I love that I can walk from one end to the other and be surrounded by such history. I love that the new buildings look like the past. I love that Longwood has continued so many traditions that I want to be a part of.
So, yes, I do get homesick, and I do miss my friends and family. But I’m steadily making new friends, forging relationships with my professors and thinking about my future at Longwood. I’m embracing my fall here and still eating the candy my mom sent weeks ago. I’m excited to see what the next season will bring. So stay tuned!
On a side note: My mom and aunt were one recent weekend and brought me pumpkins and scarecrows and homemade chicken pot pie and, yes, more Halloween candy!!!