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Cardiff Insiders

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The Struggle of Coming Home

OK, this is a little bit of a weird one. I’ve been thinking for a while now that I’m not really sure exactly where it is I belong any more. Before you take this out of context though I feel like I should clarify a few things. Firstly this isn’t a complaint about university, nor is it a complaint about home. Secondly although a lot of what I’m about to say can probably be interpreted as quite negative I don’t mean it as such, but I think it’s something that needs to be said, because I very much doubt I’m the first, or the last person to experience this. Finally, as of writing this I am currently in the process of making preparations to return to Cardiff after the Easter break, so sorry if this ends up being a little on the short side and consequently this introduction seems on the long side.

I guess the best way for me to explain this is probably in the context of home. If you’re a student who has moved away from home chances are at some point you’ll have been faced with the following question: “Where is home?”

Depending on who you talk to this question can have vastly different answers. If you’re someone who is lucky enough to have a university place close enough to home that you can still live there, then that’s great! Your answer should be obvious. You only have one place to live, and so that must be your home.

In the vast majority of cases though, moving to university also means moving away, and with moving away comes a new home.

Or does it? Well yes, of course it does. The problem that you then face, and the question I’m asking myself now is: “Which home is the real home?”

Generally speaking, I’d say that I have two homes. Home at university and “home home” back in the little town of Abingdon from which I originate. This confuses a lot of people when I tell them I’m going “home” when what I really mean is back to my hall, because if I’m talking to my family or anyone at university they automatically assume I mean “home home” which is understandable but also a little bit awkward, when I have to explain to them that that isn’t what I meant. This is usually followed by some sort of light hearted dig at the fact I have “abandoned” my previous life, but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. The problem is, I’m caught in a situation where I can simultaneously feel at home in both places, and also neither. It doesn’t seem to matter where I am, there is always a little part of me that wants to be in the other place, and I miss wherever I’m not. Over Easter I was looking forward to seeing all of my friends from home, but the truth was that most of the time people were just busy, and so I spent a significant amount of time not really doing a whole lot wishing I could be somewhere else. My life now is in Cardiff, not Abingdon, but it’ll always be a place I can go back to. It’s really a very strange situation, and it can be quite hard to know at times how I feel about it, but I guess that’s why I’m writing this, to reach out to anyone who feels the same.

Sorry it isn’t a longer post today, but I’m already running far later than I intended to with packing, and so I hope you’ll forgive me! I promise to do better next time  ;)


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