Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Going Home and Coming Back

Jill Silverberg

In the weeks preceding spring break this year, I’ll admit, I was starting to get a bit stir crazy. You see, for the last four years, I had the luxury of being able to journey off my undergraduate campus for weekend hikes all around Massachusetts. These weekend adventures not only provided me with a break from my academic responsibilities, but also helped fend off any possibility of developing recklessness.  As an individual who can’t ever seem to stay in one place for too long, you can imagine how much I miss these weekend outings. While I absolutely love living in Boston, sometimes, a person just needs a change every now and then and I hit that wall about a month a half ago. Of course, without access to a car or enough free time to venture off on the commuter rail, I’ve found myself essentially stuck within the confines of the city. Now don’t get me wrong, one can never go wrong with a bit of urban exploring, but sometimes, a person just needs to get out. And so, I decided to do just that and last Wednesday, I said adios to Boston, and hello to New York.

Returning to my hometown was like seeing a classmate I had not seen since graduating high school. True, the last time I was home was in January, but my town seems to have a case of restlessness all its own; it is not uncommon for local businesses to come and go within two months’ time. And just like said metaphorical friend, my hometown was still essentially the same, although sporting some new features. A restaurant had closed its doors; a new dance club had opened; a fire had destroyed a number of buildings near the edge of town; and a number of local places apparently decided to spruce up their interiors. Naturally this is not the first time my town has decided to change itself while I’ve been away, but I always find it to be somewhat jarring when I discover these changes. It feels like slowly but surely, the town of my childhood is slowly being replaced by some new entity. Needless to say, I don’t like it very much when such changes happen.

On the positive side of things, I did get to reconnect with some childhood friends that I hadn’t seen since Thanksgiving. And just how did we spend our time together? Why by going to the Big Apple for some hijinks of course. And it was while I was strolling around the streets of New York City, the city of my childhood that I discovered something startling: I not only missed Boston, but actually preferred Boston over NYC!!!!! Talk about a shocking epiphany. For the longest time, NYC to me was the greatest place on Earth but now that I’m older and have actual experience living in a place like Boston, I’ve come to realize some of the major pitfalls of NYC. For one thing, the place is just too big. Depending on what your plans are, you could spend forty-five minutes to over an hour simply traveling around. The same principal does apply to Boston, but the commute doesn’t always feel that bad. Another thing I noticed, sometimes being in the city that never sleeps isn’t always a good thing. While most places in Boston shut down around two in the morning, in New York, the party doesn’t stop until at least four in the morning. Public transportation on the other hand, does. One of my friends wanted to stay out later but we had to head back to Long Island around one am since the next train didn’t depart until four thirty. That sentiment was not shared by the rest of us. Were we in Boston, such a night out wouldn’t have been such a big deal since I could have called a taxi service like Sidecar or Lyft to take my friends and I back to my apartment. Since I live in Long Island, something like that was simply not an option.  All in all, as my friends and I took the Long Island Rail Road back home to Huntington, I realized that without a doubt, I desperately wanted to get back to Boston. Any reservations I might have had about moving to Boston for graduate school had literally flown the coop.

Now that I’m back and settled into my Brighton apartment, I’m not really sure where home is anymore. While Long Island will always be my childhood home, I feel like I might have outgrown the place. For where I am in my life right now, Boston is absolutely the place where I want to be. New York is a nice place to visit, but would I live there full time? NO WAY. Going home just to get away from everything is nice, especially if I haven’t been back in a while, but I think right now, I’m quite content to stay exactly where I am. Even if it means I might get a bit restless every now and then.