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Although returning to school after Christmas is a joyous relief from the boredom of vacation for some, for many freshmen it triggers another onslaught of homesickness aggravated by the prospect of the first set of exams.
"It's the worst coming back when you know what you're going to be facing--and what you're missing," Richard Nash '80 said. "There's no dad or girlfriend here, not even a decent pizza."
"At first it was a big adventure being a frosh at Harvard, meeting all these great brains. But now the thrill is gone and I miss home," he added.
One freshman said she thinks increasingly about the good times at home as finals approach.
For most students, home-cooked food is the hardest to give up, family a close second. "I miss my mom's hot buttered biscuits the most," said Douglas Richards '80, "but I also miss our family of 45 cows."
Jun Katsuki '80, a native of Japan, had more unusual cravings. She said she misses dishes such as raw fish and octopus tentacles and complains that the rice is not sticky enough here.
"Unfortunately I can't just call my family for every single problem and desire, but when I do it makes me feel a lot better and much more secure," Katsuki added.
Other symptoms of homesickness included desires for mail, pets, friends, cribbage games, and, in the case of Kris Hodgkins '80, "anything but ivy-covered brick."
"I miss little things that trigger my memory," said Alain Porter '80. "I never thought I'd miss this little picture window upstairs in my house, but I do."
"I'm keeping my vacation memories close to heart during reading period. I'm fantasizing crisp broccoli and girls all the time," said one freshman.
Sam Krisch '80 experienced another kind of homesickness during vacation--homesickness for Harvard. "I don't miss anything at home. There are limitations to my home life that are constantly being challenged here at school. I'd rather be here than anywhere else.
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