COLUMN: Week one in review

Allen Hines

I look over my shoulder in the Student Center, and someone is looking at me, watching me. What do you want, mister?, I say to myself. I’m okay. I’m sane. I’m fine with living on campus all by myself.

I take a bite of the fifth cheeseburger I’ve had this week. I don’t miss Mom’s food; it wasn’t so great. I don’t miss the goulash. The lasagna. The steak! . . . But I don’t miss any of those.

Suddenly, I don’t have an appetite. I throw away the rest of my burger and go back to my dorm. I open my door, and . . . nothing. At home, my dogs would’ve pounced on me, tails wagging and tongues licking. Now all that greets me is my Jimi Hendrix poster. But that’s just fine with me. I don’t need dog hair all over my clothes anyway.

I see my phone, and I remember coordinating trips to the mall with my high school buddies, how we used to canvass the mall looking for something to do. We usually found it, sometimes to the dismay of shopkeepers with strict policies about touching merchandise. But they’re my old friends. They live an hour away. Besides, I have plenty of new friends up here. I don’t need my old friends.

I plop my bookbag on the floor, and I lie on my bed, thinking of something to do rather than study. After lying there for only a couple minutes, my back is stiff. My bed at home is soft and actually gives more than an eighth of an inch when I lay on it. But no, this bed is soft enough. I’ll just have to punch it a couple times before bedtime.

I sit on the edge of the mattress, still wondering what I can do to further avoid studying. Behind me, and on the other side of the wall, the door beeps its approval for someone to enter. Then, the door slams shut. Home sure was quieter. I never had to look for a place to study. But I don’t want to study. This place isn’t louder; there’s just more going on.

But still I am unable to convince myself. I want to go home.

Labor Day weekend couldn’t come soon enough. Then, my sister picks me up, and we head back to Alliance, back to home.

I enter my house, and two dogs pounce on me and cover me with their hair. I call my high school buddies who have also come home for the weekend, and we hang out at the mall. Mom’s food is as gratifying as ever, and she even made extra to take back to my dorm. Later that night, I lie on a feather-soft bed, and while I wait for sleep, I hear quiet.

But somehow it’s different.

Allen Hines is a freshman pre-journalism and mass communication major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].