My Adventures in Chicago

By Michelle Jay, Multimedia Editor
@michelllelynn

As my junior year came to a close, I watched as most of my friends prepared for their summers in New York City or Boston or some other city that wasn’t the one they grew up while I packed up and moved back to the house I grew up in. To say I was dreading it might have been an understatement. The large majority of my friends, even my best friend from high school, were going to be living 1,000 miles away. It’s not that I don’t love my family, but after eight months of relative freedom, the prospect of moving back under my parents’ roof as a 21-year-old was not thrilling.

May 5 found me settled back into the same room I slept in from birth until high school graduation, sharing a car with my younger brother and relying on technology to maintain my relationships back east.

My internship started mid-May and I quickly settled into a routine. While I still whined and complained, summer seemingly flew by. Suddenly, I am preparing for my senior year of college.

Then I realized this was my last “real” summer. After years of eight months of school followed by four months of summer, once I graduate in May that concept disappears. This summer is probably the last time I could ­– guilt free – come home for four months to work four days a week and lay around the other three while having my dad cook a large majority of my meals, my mom clean up around me and my little brother bother me.

Looking back, I’m kind of glad I came home for my last summer. Had I not, I would have missed things that are uniquely home experiences: screaming at the television with my family while watching the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, eating Portillos, walking to the downtown area of my town at 8:30 p.m. – only to find everything closed at 8 p.m., running at dusk and having fireflies blink around me and, of course, family dinners that involve “discussions” of whether my brother or I get the car the next day.

This summer reminded me that no matter where I go I can always go home.

Watch the video below for a song that inspires one about home:

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