Here I am, with four days left of my 39-day vacation, watching yet another episode of Law and Order: SVU. I’ve read all the books I collected over the fall quarter, I’ve cleaned my room twelve times, and I’ve done more online shopping than I’d care to admit. As much as I love being home and being with my family, being able to discuss their days, being able to pet my cats in real life (rather than over FaceTime), I do miss Kalamazoo College. And these are the top five things I miss:
5. The Cafeteria
As strange as it sounds, I miss the food. As a freshman, I was quite afraid of college food: mystery meat, overcooked pasta, I don’t even know what I was expecting. But when I got to school, I heard about the shift to a new food provider. For me, the food has been wonderful. I really enjoy having so many different options available to me; if I wanted to eat pizza, I could. Salad, anytime. Pie is also available, probably too often. Okay, who am I kidding, there is never enough pie.
4. The Campus
Kalamazoo College is beautiful. We had a few snowfalls over the fall quarter, but never enough to do winter activities or actually enjoy it. Being on campus during the first few snowstorms would have be so wonderful! I’ve heard about sledding down the Quad, and as a freshman, I’ve never experienced it before. Sure, we have sledding and snowmen and cold, winter nights in Metro Detroit- but there’s something magical about K covered in snow.
Being at home for six weeks has given me ample time to catch up on current events. I feel educated on the Affordable Care Act and the reaction the bill’s rollout over the past two months. I’ve read The Atlantic, Politico, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Gawker, every news source available everyday, and while I love being engaged in our culture, I would much rather be reading about nineteenth century Europe. I would consider myself a history nerd, I love to read about Puritans and imperialism and Russia. K is where I can spend all day learning and embracing my education, without being too concerned with real life. I get to study exactly what I find fascinating (I just finished a class that was completely devoted to the Salem Witchcraft Trials…). As much as I love having time to relax and catch up with friends and watch Netflix, there are very few things that are more exciting to me than learning.
2. The People
This is a big one for me. I came from a high school about the same size as K. I wanted a small college; I wanted the tight knit community that K offers. But I was concerned that I wouldn’t find people that expanded my horizons at all, like I would only find people like me. But that has turned out, for me at least, to be far from the truth. I’ve gotten to meet people from all over the United States (my roommate is from California, and my suitemate is from Alaska) and people from all over the world. Their perspectives on life differ so widely, and people are so willing to listen to where you come from; it’s a new way to think. I’ve met conservative people on campus (yes, they exist and are lovely), I’ve met people of all sorts of economic backgrounds, of all sorts of social backgrounds, of all sorts of everything. For me, coming from a mostly white, middle class area to a diverse, open community is not only enlightening, but also a challenge which to adjust. You have to ask yourself tougher questions, establish stronger opinions, and have better evidence to support those opinions. The people at K are what make up the college’s environment, which is why they are such an important part of my experience thus far. Everyone is willing to talk, to discuss something, to offer support, whatever you need. I suppose that’s just part of being a Hornet!
1. The Atmosphere
But the part of Kalamazoo College that I have missed the most over our extensive winter break has been the atmosphere. The fact that the students are excited to be here, that we are all going through some of the same situations (we’ve all faced an eighth week research paper), and we’re all willing to engage in our community. There is something very inspiring about a student body that loves what they’re apart of at K. I’m excited to spend the next three years upon the fair Arcadian hill, continuing to be challenged and enlightened.