Returning from Freedom

Kara Shea
Home for the holidays
 l to r: Matthew O'Malley, Kara Shea, John Blake, MaryKate Foley, Andrew Millin, Sydney Macquilken, Matthew Eckhardt
Issue Date: 
December, 2017
Article Body: 

There is something to be said about living on your own. The freedom to make your own choices, the impactful outcomes made from those choices, and an over-whelming sense of personal development. For most, these feelings come attending college. It’s the first time away from the family and Town that has shaped them into the teen they have become; but it is college that will transform them into the adult they were meant to be. In this sense, moving away from home is extremely important for the development of young adults. As a first-hand witness of this, I know it to be extremely true. Currently a junior at Sacred Heart University, my life has been forever changed by college. Learning new ways to take care of myself, but also learning to live for myself have been essential to my personal progress. However, college is not a year-round activity. At some point, we all go home, and personal progress seems to stop in an instant.
Suddenly people are telling you what to do again. There are rules and regulations once more. It’s a good thing that everyone returning is in the same situation, so you can lean on friends for help. Seeing the kids that have grown and changed with you after months apart is exciting and scary. You’ve changed and so have they, but you all still enjoy each others company. So you cherish the moments with them as much as you can. Ordering Pizzeria Bruno’s while watching Elf the movie; or doing some Christmas shopping around town. Or in my case, having a gift swap, eating desserts, and laughing about all the new memories you’ve made, and reminiscing about old ones. It is a magical time to be in Norwood during Christmas break, because swarms of collegians can be seen appreciating each other in the splendor of the holidays.
The splendor also brings the family back together again for food and fun. In my case, my Nana and I can be seen walking into The Norwood Theater for a play or music experience. My brother and sister come in the morning to pick up bagels from Spot, the greatest comfort food for the holidays in my opinion; and my mother does the best she can to balance work and an ornament swap with all her friends. It’s a hectic time, but one that I wouldn’t give up for the world. The holidays are meant for reflection and remembrance; so, although it might seem like there is no more freedom, coming back to your roots during a time of love and giving is so integral to the growth that has already begun.
College is an amazing experience, and yes, it is great to live on your own. It is also amazing to feel in control of your life. It is even empowering to feel that you have made personal progress. But sometimes, it is even greater to remember the people and the places that got you to that point in the first place.