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A Love Letter to Hometown Friends

Moving in and out of school can cause many emotions. The second you get adjusted to being at college, it’s time to go home for break, and then the second you get used to being home again, it’s time to go back to school. But there is also something beautiful about it. It’s like when I am at school, I don’t want to go back home because of all the fun I am having and love the people I am with, but when I go home I don’t want to go back to school because of how much fun I am having and love the people I am with. It shows how although they are two different parts of my life, I still love the two aspects. With all the changes that go on during the college years, one thing that has remained a constant has been my friends from home.

Many people dread coming home for a break in that there is nothing to do, they will be bored, or no one is free, but for me it is what you make of it. It may not be exciting in the sense of going out every weekend, talking to new guys, having the morning after debriefs in your friends dorm, or exploring New York City, but it is important to realize just because your routine looks different, you can still have fun and excitement in other ways. When I tell people how close I continue to be with my hometown friends and the fun I have at home they claim me to be someone who peaked in high school. I was never close to being popular, I don’t think most people even thought about me at school, but everything is what you make of it. Even without popularity I had a great time in high school. I look forward to coming home to reconnect with the people I have grown up with, old friends who have serious blackmail on me during my awkward phase in middle school to see how much we have grown through our

time together and how we have continued to grow together even when we have been miles apart.

I am lucky enough that I get to go home to a group of friends that I endlessly love. The nostalgia of texting in the group chat and asking who can drive tonight and fighting for the front seat. Walking the streets of our hometown at night back from a house party, the same house of the person that threw every weekend in high school and the same streets I used to walk home from in middle school. No one wanting to have people over at their house so we sit in the car and talk for hours about the last guy we were all talking to before we left college to get opinions on whether we think he will ghost us or not by the time we get back. The adrenalin of having a character from home ask to hang out, adding more to the plot that me and my friends have been debriefing for years. Even sometimes needing an outlet to let out the frustration of the people and environment at college. Having relatable conversations about the aspects of college that you do not always see or hear about while at school. It is relieving to know that your friends from home understand completely your experiences and how you feel even with them being so far from you.

And when we are not home, there is the feeling of something so exciting in your life happening at school that the first thing you need to do is text your home friends and figure out a time everyone can join a FaceTime call and unpack. Yes, we all do constantly complain that we are bored, but there is beauty in that. Our boredom pushes us to get creative but also reminds us of being grateful for the little things. I have a special appreciation for our stay-at home mom walks on the boardwalk at the beach while we gossip. The only thing missing is a stroller and a baby. I find it funny how for fun we will drive 40 minutes to walk around a random farm in the middle of winter, all the plants dead and no one else there or getting excited about finding a new plant nursery to discover in a different town.

Asking who wants to run errands just to have an excuse to hang out with each other even though all we are doing is running to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription or a container of milk someone's mom texted to get. Going on Apple Maps to find green spaces around us to unlock new areas for nature walks, ironically I have never explored more parts of Long Island than I have after leaving for college. Or going to Walmart to play Mario Kart because none of us have gotten a new gaming system since the original WII. Embarrassingly enough having a great time at our town's public library reading J-14 Magazines and taking quizzes on if your crush likes you back. Then there is blasting music with the windows down in 30 degree weather at the beach during the sunset. And even finding an indoor pool just to have something new to do. There is a special place in my heart for these wholesome, simple adventures. We laugh at ourselves for how different our days and nights look compared to what we did in high school and in college but there is also a new found appreciation for each other and our town. Our time together and our adventures is a healing break from the fast paced life of college in Manhattan.

A time to sit back surrounded by those who can always take a joke, down for something new, and understand you like no other.

Written by Adnie Serrao

Photography by Rose Miller

Talent: Anthony Fowlkes, Rachel Lucas

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