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Homeward bound

What a girl wants

Though it snowed less than a week ago, summer is almost here. Even better, the end of the school year is coming up. On May 7, I get to say sayonara to Case Western Reserve University and pile the contents of my dorm into the car. If I can afford any time during final exams maybe I will make a “Wisconsin or Bust” sign to plaster on my mom’s car for the drive back.

Don’t get me wrong, I really love CWRU. My freshman year has been so amazing: I liked what I studied, joined a sorority, met unique, awesome people, and tried almost every option at the Leutner dessert buffet.

However, there are some things even a great institution like CWRU doesn’t offer. Over the last few weeks, as almost everything academic comes down to the wire and crunch time is in full swing, I find myself yearning for the comforts of home more and more.

Privacy is a hot commodity that is hard to come by in dorm life, especially for us poor freshmen. Living with a roommate is the quintessential college experience, partially because of the compromises that must be made when you move into a cramped room with a total stranger. I love having a roommate: my roommate, Emily, is awesome. But sometimes all you need is your space. A shared, tiny, cinderblock-wall room is not the ideal location to get away from anything.

Thus, I am looking oh-so forward to being reunited with my bedroom. I can see it now: bright walls covered in posters, a bed you don’t have to climb into, a floor big enough to throw clothes on and still walk around. The simple bliss of blasting Wacka Flocka Flame and dropping it like it’s hot without bothering my roommate is an image propelling me through the madness of final papers and exams.

So if task one upon arriving home is a jam session in my room, then task number two is a lengthy shower. Can you imagine it? You can shower in a tub, with water of consistent temperature and pressure. I mustn’t forget the best part: this can all be done barefoot. Barefoot, I tell you!

After the best shower of the year, next up is food. Assuming I am spending my first days of summer right, noon should have come and gone, so my appetite isn’t restricted to just one meal. Regardless, it should take about five minutes for me to decide exactly what I want to eat.

First I will open the fridge for at least a minute, assessing all my options in this full size appliance so large I am prompted to question how I ever survived with a miniature version. I can guarantee the fridge won’t hold exactly what I want to eat, so I will move to the snack drawer, then the pantry, then back to the fridge.

My food indecision is a direct consequence of the overwhelming number of options: I could have Lucky Charms, string cheese, or pudding. I could make a sandwich or a quesadilla. What’s a girl to do?

I love Leutner, but just because society says there are three separate meals at three separate times of the day with very specific food options, doesn’t mean I can’t have a bowl of Life, some ice cream, and last night’s leftovers all in one sitting.

Sufficiently stuffed, I will have to fulfill my longstanding appointment with Couch. Couch has been with me through thick and thin; after being gone for a semester, we have a lot of catching up to do. I will just have to plop myself on Couch and melt into its cleanly enormity.

That’s right, Couch isn’t a tiny loveseat. It’s comfortable, and I can fall asleep there without wondering what events have transpired upon Couch before me. The two of us, without a loud common room, will become acquainted once again while watching TV. I will flip channels and Couch will never argue with my choices, even my guiltiest of pleasures (what can I say, I have a soft spot for Millionaire Matchmaker).

Come sunset, I will separate from Couch for some family time. Family. I like to think I am a hip, independent college kid who doesn’t need her parents, but that would be a pretty blatant lie. My family makes my home.

Every time I think of coming home for the summer, I always land upon one particular scene: My family sitting around the patio, our grilled food long gone, talking about our days, weeks, year as the suburban sun sets. Eventually the mosquitoes might come out for a bite and the darkened skies will bring a chilly breeze, or a summer thunderstorm might roll in and my family will be forced to go back inside.

Sure, there are picnic pavilions and grills at CWRU, but it’s just not the same thing. While I love it here, a loud, commotion-filled dorm is not where the heart is, home is. And my home keeps tugging at my heart.

Heather O’Keeffe is a first year student studying biomedical engineering and sports medicine. Her ACL injury has peaked and solidified her interest in studying biomechanics.

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