When you’ve lived away from home for a substantially long amount of time, home and Home are a confusing concept.
When I’m at Uni, home is my house here in Newcastle, and Home home is back in India. But when I was home for Christmas, I kept calling Newcastle home in conversation. I had to clarify which one I was talking about every time, to myself and the people I was talking with.
That jumble aside, the 10 days I spent in India for my Christmas break were by no means enough. The first 3 days were a constant state of jet lag, and all I wanted to do throughout the holiday was to be at home and spend time with my family, nothing else. I didn’t feel like going out anywhere, visiting anyone else, I just wanted to relax with my parents and sister.
I tried to conjure up the Christmas spirit I had experienced at my friend’s house last year, by playing Christmas songs all through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and giving small presents to my family. I’d bought some mulled cider for the occasion, and we had a toast on the night. We visited every restaurant that was on my bucket list for this time. New Years’ Eve was spent at a big annual party hosted at a hotel.
Other than that, I mostly just stayed in bed, read books and watched a couple of movies. I cooked dinner the evening before I was supposed to leave, which my family loved (or at least that’s what they said). I stayed back till the last possible day I could, and it was still a very short trip – I hadn’t gotten to the point I usually get at which I’m itching to come back here.
This Semester, my last ever of University, is different. Because of our Final Year Research Projects, we don’t have exams this semester, instead having them at the end of the year in May. The project I’ve been assigned is involved in studying the role of a gene involved in mitochondrial diseases in relation to ageing and disease. Situated at the Campus for Ageing and Vitality, it’s more than a 30+ minute commute, but it’s so worth it. Everyone in the team I’m working with is so fun and nice, and they’ve made me feel so welcome, not like an intruder – which is what I basically am. I’m going to be learning 3 new molecular biology techniques over the 9 week duration of the project, and my first week itself has been amazing. I’m so excited to continue and actually get some results to write about in my dissertation.