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After a Couple Months in College, it's Nice to Come Home to San Ramon

Ritika Iyer, who graduated from California High in June, talks with some fellow recent grads and they agree it's nice coming back to San Ramon after starting college. For one, there is no mom cooking at college.

As a first-year student at UC Davis, Thanksgiving break means a lot of things to me. 

Of course, food, family and fun come to mind, just like it does for most people. But for college students including myself, this break is much needed for more than just the celebrations.

“The workload has been starting to pile up, so it is nice to come home and not have to worry about work for a couple of days,” said freshman University of Texas at Austin student Tedmund Chua. 

Going from being a senior in high school, living at home to being a freshman in college and completely independent is a huge transition for most students. Although college can eventually evolve into a second home, homesickness is a typical feeling for college students during the first few weeks of the semester or quarter.

“I was excited to come back because I missed my mom’s cooking and all my friends from home,” said Chua. 

Thanksgiving break is not just needed for people new to the college scene. 

Sophomore UC Riverside student Nitin Yenigalla said he enjoys coming home because he is able to catch up with his friends and family. 

“To top it off, (I can) enjoy some home cooked meals and sleep in my bed,” said Yenigalla. 

Chua and Yenigalla are only two of many college students that go to universities located far from San Ramon. Since they do not always get the chance to come home before Thanksgiving break, it makes the break all the more important. 

“People that go to UC’s get pieces of home all the time,” said Chua. “Being out of state, I have no one there, and Texas is unlike home in so many ways.”

In-state students attending schools in Southern California, like Yenigalla and third-year UC San Diego student Sveta Mohan, are not able to come home very often either. 

“It’s not easy to come back often because you get so busy down there that there isn’t time to even think about coming home,” said Mohan. “It definitely feels different to be home, but its nice and I think I appreciate it a lot more because I don’t get to go home as often.”

Although I personally am in San Ramon relatively often, thanks to Davis’s close proximity to home, Thanksgiving break so far has been a time for me to catch up with those who I haven’t been able to share real conversations with in over two months, specifically my friends that have come home for the break. 

“Even though I come home a lot, Thanksgiving has a different feel to it then coming home on any other weekend,” said UC Berkeley first-year student Saundarya Mehra. “There are more people home and you are here for a longer time, so you truly have a break for about five days.” 

Speaking on the behalf of the majority of college students, I can strongly say that coming home for holiday breaks is associated with relaxation, endless sleep and no stress. 

“(Over Thanksgiving break), I usually spend time with friends, go out to lunch or dinner, try and go to some professional sports games like the Warriors, Raiders and Giants if they are playing,” said Yenigalla. “I just try to relax as much as possible and catch up with a few of my peers.”

There are many ‘San Ramon specialties’ that college students miss when they are away from home, and make a point to do while they are in town. Chua said one of the first things he did after stepping off the plane was go to the popular burger joint, In-n-Out, located on San Ramon Valley Blvd. 

Mehra said one of her favorite activities to do at home is hiking, because she doesn’t have the opportunity to do that in the big city that Berkeley is. 
“I like going to Las Trampas,” she said. “There is more nature in San Ramon that you get to see. I find hiking relaxing and I like being in touch with nature.” 

Before graduating from California High School in June, I was so sure that I wouldn’t have much to do and would get bored over my long holiday breaks. Even when I was leaving for college and the situation was put more into perspective for me, I was not expecting to miss the small city of San Ramon as much as I do now. 

But when I really think about it, I’m heading back to Davis Saturday and it feels like I just got home. From playing frisbee in the neat community parks, to hanging out in the Marketplace and taking a walk down the Iron Horse Trail, there really are many things that college students, especially myself, miss after we leave. 

“The only reason I dislike (Thanksgiving break) is because there is not enough time over this specific break to do everything you would like to do since it goes by in a flash,” said Yenigalla. “I look forward to doing a lot more over winter break.”

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