Eckert: Over break, CWRU became the home longed for

Looking back on winter break, I hope everyone enjoyed spending time with their family and reconnecting with old friends. Personally, I was ready to come back to school on Dec. 26. I fulfilled my family obligations and was ready to return. As break dragged on and on, I realized how much I love being here. Sure there are times when it makes me want to drop out and become homeless, but this is truly my home.

As the days were winding down to come back here, I found myself answering the question “When do you go back to school?” with “I go home on the seventh,” without even realizing that I was at the house that I previously always considered home.

I love being here at school, and that feeling of belonging is important at college. In order to find the right place, you have to let it grow into home; becoming comfortable with your surroundings is probably the best way to focus on the task at hand, which for those our age, is school. If you’re constantly worrying about the environment around you, your focus will stray from your studies.

I love it here and I think that now that I’m more comfortable, I will be able to better focus on my school work and extracurriculars. Case Western Reserve University is truly my home and after being home for break, I don’t think I ever want to leave again.

I love school, working, writing for the paper and spending time with my friends. These things are what has made CWRU home to me. Without my friends and the community around me, I don’t think I would be here after this coming semester. Because of the people I’ve met and the relationships with faculty I’ve built, CWRU has become the place I miss. I don’t want to go home because I’m already here.

Personally, my break was sub-par. I ran out of things to do after about three days and ended up just sleeping my time away. I live in a small town and there’s absolutely nothing to do. For fun, my friends and I drive to Walmart and just do laps in the store. Then we go get food and come back to Walmart. (The nearest Walmart is a 40 minute drive.) So after spending my mandatory time with family, I ran out of things to do in a very short time. Most nights I ended up playing old video games in my basement and then sleeping until 1 p.m. the next day, which gets boring after the first two weeks. I was hoping to have a job over the holidays, but the restaurant I worked at over the summer closed, so I was out of luck there also.

Regardless of the quality of my break, I’m home now and that’s all that matters. I’ve heard the saying “Home is where the heart is” and read it way too many times on artsy home decor, but now I finally realize how true it is. Cleveland is the first city I’ve ever lived in, and as much as people complain about pollution, crime and the lack of excitement, I love it. I love the school and my friends and the environment because I finally found somewhere I fit in.

Brian Eckert is a first-year finance and economics double major.