Like my fellow New Jerseyian, Bon Jovi, once said “who says you can’t go home?”
This weekend, I made the six-hour trek from Pittsburgh to Caldwell, New Jersey for a breast cancer walk my little sister had taken on as a family service project. The timing of the 5k could not have been better, because midterms are over, and I had been by myself in Pittsburgh just long enough to start to miss home. The walk itself was a great success, with about 2,000 people in attendance, and my sister proudly donating the $600.00 she raised through fundraising and used toy sales. However, the clichéd “family time” we spent together was almost as valuable as our Federoff Family donation to the American Cancer Society.
Four years ago, as I prepared to leave for college, I thought my parents were crazy for warning me of the days when I would be happy to return home and be babied once again, but low and behold, the day has come. Though trips home can get a little bit pricey, are time consuming, and somehow always manage to put me back a little in schoolwork, I’ve come to value these trips more and more as I’ve gotten older. Take it from me; think twice before you diss “family time,” because sitting around the fire watching television was one of the highlights of my weekend! Perhaps distance makes the heart grow fonder, or I’ve finally outgrown my independent teenage stage, but I can honestly say the boring part of home I once despised has become my favorite part of visits.
However, since I so scarcely make it home, my attendance in the household is always greeted with a warm welcome, and some kind of unusual celebration. This weekend, we went out for dinner (twice) celebrated my brother’s birthday, got pampered at the beauty salon, and even went on a mini-shopping spree. But, all the hype and out-of-the-ordinary adventures still cannot overshadow the simple pleasures of being home. For example, what I enjoyed most about my trip home? Dual Survival.
Sounds weird… but since I’ve been away, my siblings have developed a great love for the television series Dual Survival – a show where two survival experts are dropped off in a common death trap for tourists or visitors. Thanks to my Netflix account, we were able to spend hours watching Dual Survival, following the adventures of Cody and Dave from the caves of Belize to the swamps of Brazil. Spending time with my siblings is a lot of fun and somehow, always is able to ground me and remind me what is important in life. Especially while watching Dual Survival.
Enough jokes, though, my time at Duquesne, a University 300 + miles away from my hometown, I have learned an extremely valuable lesson, spoken (well sang rather) from the mouth of a New Jerseyian himself: who says you can’t go home?
– Alyssa Federoff