Creating a Home (Far, Far) Away from Home

Especially in the harsh and seemingly endless winter months, getting acclimated to the Houghton environment (as a whole) can be a difficult task, especially if you hail from a place where the culture vastly differs from the one that is here. Coming from Queens, New York, a 30-minute F-train ride away from Times Square, my arrival to Houghton and most of my first year were spent trying to figure out how I could make this place, and my time pursuing my Master’s as comfortable and beneficial to my education as possible.While a challenging experience, I tried as hard as I could to find and fit bits and pieces of my hobbies from New York into my schedule to fuel myself with the familiarity of home. Before the snow hit, I would attend the early morning yoga sessions in the SDC until I decided to invest in my own yoga mat so I could keep up with my practice in the event that I couldn’t drive and was snowed in; I became involved with the women’s rugby team at Michigan Tech and embraced the chance to keep my love for the sport alive. As I approach the end of my time as a Master’s candidate, I know that I may have to make the sacrifice and give up my commitment to one of  (if not both of) these hobbies in order to finish on-time but I also understand that I’ll need to find that balance again somewhere else; going to the KBC with friends and fellow graduate students,a large McDonald’s iced coffee, cooking a delicious meal, watching a good movie, picking up a good Netflix series or book (for fun, imagine!), Bananagrams, and FaceTiming with my girlfriend or friends from home are aspects of my life in Houghton that I strive to integrate into my lifestyle to ensure that the rough days less of a challenge. While several of my colleagues and friends enjoy hobbies ranging from photography and blogging to snowshoeing and broomball, I’ve found that there are places to make things feel like home here and provide that much-needed, occasional break from the work of being in graduate school and trying to find our place in the academic world.


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