It has now been a week since I arrived back to Chicago. I have attended classes for a week, started back at work, gone to my regular grocery store, and visited my favorite coffee shop here in the city. This is normal life here in Chicago, and it's always a strange paradox of a sense of comfort and familiarity being back, as well as a sadness over the loss of nature and a sense of "normal life" in other places.
You know college life never really feels normal, right? It's incredibly unique and wonderful, and has its own stresses as well. I mean, when else are you surrounded by only peers but during college? This means lots of friend opportunities, but it's weird too. I loved serving with families and kids this summer. It was refreshing. Then there's the aspect of constant transition in college. See the example below:
Our couch is out in the suburbs, and we are currently working on figuring out how to get it back downtown (none of us have cars). So what do we do in the meantime? Set up storage tubs where the couch is supposed to go, cover them with a blanket, and put pillows on top to make it at least feel
like we are more settled than we actually are.
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the living room, this is the view:
More tubs. Oh, and those are pictures that we have on the floor because we wanted to try out a layout for then hanging them on the wall. We don't want to hang them until we get our couch though, so we wait.
Not only is our apartment constantly in transition due to it still being student housing (which means we have to move all of our stuff out for the summer), but student life constantly changes every semester. It's strange to have familiar faces graduate in the spring and to know you may never see them again. It is a transitional community.
My friend and I have nicknamed college the "Train Station", for people come from all over, stay in the station for a little while, and then book their tickets to the next place. Is it possible we'll board the train at the same time as someone else we know? Perhaps. Perhaps not. That's the joy and sadness of the train station.
I'll be buying my own "train ticket" this semester as I figure out where I'm going next in January. Until then though, I'll mingle and enjoy the people who are in travel mode too before we all go on to what is next. I love this train station though, and I will miss it too, so I'm soaking up all its sights and sounds, and the slight sense of home that has been established here.
Final semester, senior year, here I come.