I’m finally back at Duke after an exhausting journey – 30 hours on the plane, and 7 hours between airports –but I’m happy to be back! Being home for the first time in 4 months was an experience all on it’s own. As the plane touched down at Chiang Mai International Airport, I felt like I had never left, and Duke was all a dream.
I got home to a great surprise. My mom had put up the Christmas tree and had decorated it in Duke blue ornaments. We even had a Duke Santa hat!
The first few days at home were strange. I’m not sure how to explain the feeling, but it was a mix of excitement and worry. I’d never been gone from home for so long and I almost forgot what it was like to be there again. I was also hesitant to meet a number of people for whom I had lost contact with. My worries ended soon enough when I met my friends, and they filled me in on the past three months. I realized that nothing had really changed. Home was still home and although I didn’t recognize a few faces at my school or at parties, I still felt completely and utterly welcome. Being at Duke, I forget how much I loved Chiang Mai, and it was absolutely amazing to be back.
It took a while to get adjusted to the daily routine that I had once been so familiar with. I no longer had to share a bathroom, or pay for my own food, but I also wasn’t doing something every minute of every day. In college, I feel as if there’s something going on literally all the time, and you’re obligated to do something. You’re either with your friends, in class, eating take out or Marketplace food, or working on an assignment. At home though, my days became slower, and I found myself doing absolutely nothing. I’m not complaining though, after three months of non-stop activities, I needed to relax and just be lazy!
The best part about being home, (apart from the family of course) was home cooking! From Thai papaya salad to my mom’s Massaman curry, I wanted to eat everything. But even with all the eating in Thailand, I still felt like it was alot healthier than my US diet. In the States, although you can eat healthy, it’s a lot harder. The majority of the food that appeals to me here falls in the ‘fried and unhealthy’ category. I’m warning all incoming students, ‘Freshmen 15’ is not a myth. With all the vending machines, and unlimited food supply at the Marketplace, you are bound to be eating for the majority of your time at Duke. And so I have decided that for this semester, I am going to eat healthier, way healthier.
Looking back on the past three months, I can’t help but smile at all the memories of my first semester at Duke. They’ve seriously been the best three months of my life. I’ve said this before but I’m going to say it again; I still can’t believe I’m here. This time last year I had no idea where I would end up. My dad really scared me, something about how I put all my eggs in one basket, and I ended up applying to more universities. At times I would start freaking out. I was certain I wouldn’t get accepted to a single university! To all seniors out there, you will be fine. The wait is going to be awful, but it’s going to be so worth it when you receive that ‘Congratulation!’ in the mail. Don’t screw up your last five months; they are the ones you’ll remember forever. Good luck, and I can’t wait to meet all you future Blue Devils.
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