A Place Called Home


Image Credit: Caroline Flynn

Somewhere north of Boston, a middle class suburb sits quiet and unchanged by the weathering of time. Those of us that grew up there call it Home. When I lived there, Home seemed like the best and worst place to be. The heart of Home is a decent school system that prides itself in its lack of public funding. Us kids rally around our outdated school building and its outdated policies and make it our mission to be great anyways. The sports and arts programs thrive because of it. A lot of students did great things when I was in school and Home made sure they felt celebrated and successful. A lot of students did not-so-great things and Home tried its best to sweep them under the rug.

Home is not special in any of these ways. What makes it special is that the people I love are there. When I’m with them I feel like it would be easy to fall back into the habits that I developed for 18 years before I left. Habits like mowing the lawn on Saturdays with my Dad, banging on the bathroom door until my sister got out of the shower, and watching the news in the morning with my Mom in the kitchen. At night, I call my friends and we drive off on some adventure to the edge of a lake or new empty parking lot that is a prime spot for playing music too loudly while we talk about the future. Home has a sense of measured steps. Everything is even and safe as we quietly live out another day, month, year of our lives. So when I came to NYC I was ready for a shift.

New York University. A huge school in an even bigger city. Home seems distant in memory, size, and existence. In fact, it’s difficult to believe they inhabit the same planet. No one takes measured steps here. Most people walk at a pace that suburbians couldn’t ever imagine. I had gotten the shift I wanted. My life was constantly shifting. New people, new places, new education, new food, new, new, new. And so I began to plug away at my new life.

I spent most of my freshman year in my bottom bunk, squeezed between two desks and two dressers in a Tetris-like fashion. Though the room was barely big enough for the two people it housed, I happily claimed half of it as my own. My desk quickly gained an appropriate amount of clutter. Even from 4 hours away, my mom would roll her eyes over FaceTime and urge me to straighten up my things. The rectangle of open wall next to my bed was littered with photographs of friends and family from Home. They were a constant reminder of who I’d left behind.

You learn a lot about yourself when you’re thrust into a new environment. As the year drew on, I realized that the thing that made Home so special were the people. Here, I didn’t have any relationships to keep me afloat. I loved being in the city and taking classes that pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I felt myself balancing on a fine line between independence and loneliness. Today, I no longer worry about slipping into loneliness because I’ve built some strong friendships in New York City. And I’ve strengthened the bonds with people at Home in a way that gives me the confidence to be independent. It took a while, but I was lucky enough to meet people that will change my life forever. This summer, I’ll be talking about how I got to this point and what I’ve learned about relationships since I left home. Hopefully you learn from my mistakes and fall in love with my friends and family just like I have.

By Caroline Flynn

Caroline Flynn is a Sales and Publishing Intern at the Campus Clipper studying Theatre at NYU Tisch. Caroline is passionate about the arts and dedicated to using her voice to make other people smile. As she heads into her Junior year, she is excited to be writing about how relationships have shaped her life while she takes on summer in the city for the first time. 

We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 


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