I think a good amount of UMass Boston students went home to their parents for this quarantine. Whether you were staying in the dorms, have an apartment on or off campus, or whatever your living situation may have been, many students decided to go home to their family. For a little over a month, I thought I wasn’t going to do that, and I would stay in my apartment in the city. However, the city started feeling like it was getting smaller. I can’t really explain it other than bringing up the saying, “the silence was deafening.” As the city “slept,” or really, just stayed inside, I couldn’t stand to be there anymore. The people and human interaction I craved that had brought me to the city in the first place was now gone. It felt like an abandoned city, and I hate being on my own so I packed my bags and went “home.”
My family lives about an hour and a half to two hours away from Boston in a car ride. I don’t have a car with me in Boston, so I called my mom late one night to ask her to come get me. I’m lucky enough that she didn’t ask why, just simply when. I just needed to get out; I didn’t want to talk about it or think about it. As I was picked up, I packed all my things in the car: laundry, school supplies, my bunny and whatever she needs, and some comfortable clothes. Getting home meant that I would have a car to drive aimlessly with and sing as loud as I wanted to along with my music without having to worry about bothering anyone else. It meant that I didn’t have to cook my every meal (thank you, mom!) and that I could hangout with old friends, talking through our car window cracks. Being home meant that I could see the family dog and order from my favorite coffee shop to go. All the little things in life that would bring me joy before moving to Boston, I was coming home for.
Funny enough, originally I wanted to stay in my apartment because I pay a hefty amount in rent, and I should be in the place I’m paying to live at. However, now that I’m home and the city I know is not the city I would be returning to, I don’t really want to leave. It’s nice to play games with my family or walk through my neighborhood going to the park and pond nearby. I am very fortunate in that I get along better with my family than I remembered. Yes, I still bicker with my brother here and there, but overall, I think the distance of me moving to Boston made things much easier on us to get along. Being quarantined with anyone isn’t easy, but my family allows me to have as much independence as I want, which is vital to me. I am huge on having alone time unbothered in my room, or just going away in my car to do my own thing. As much as I love spending time with other people, I’m realizing I love to spend time on my own as well.
I think the break I took from the city was needed, almost like there was a toxic, unhappy layer that I left behind there. I hope I have a clear enough head when I decide to go back, and that things will be different—not only for me but for everyone. I hope this break from life will make everyone appreciate the little things more, because it definitely has for me.