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Thinking of Home

Thinking of Home

As they move away to begin their college careers, first-year students bring mementos to remind them of the people and places they left behind.

By John Crawford • Illustrations by Scott Garrett

My hometown is Sao Paulo, Brazil, and I brought with me Brazilian bills, Brazilian music, and my BRAZIL JERSEY. I am a huge soccer fan. And when I listen to Brazilian music, I usually think back to the times I spent at the beach with my friends and family. —Elisa Leao

I brought a STUFFED POLAR BEAR from my home in Hinsdale, Ill. I’ve had it for more than 14 years now, and it reminds me of my family and the friendships I’ve made. It grew old as I did; it isn’t entirely white anymore, and the fur isn’t as soft. Having a link back to my childhood is nice, and seeing it resting in my college room makes me feel particularly nostalgic. —Jeremy Cai

Signed baseball bat

I was born in Accra, Ghana. I then moved to the Bronx about seven years ago. One thing I brought was a SIGNED BASEBALL BAT. I was manager of the varsity baseball team, mostly because I was injured much of the school year and needed to do rehab, so playing a sport was not an option. The whole baseball team, mostly my fellow seniors who are very good friends, convinced me to do it. They treated me like part of the team and even involved me in the post-season ceremony, where each senior received a bat that was signed by the entire team. This was special to me because it reminds me of the close-knit community at my school. —Frederick Amoyaw

I’m from Tenafly, N.J. I keep my METROCARD right alongside my OneCard in my phone case so I can always think about the adventures I’ve had in New York City. I also brought lots of photos from home that I covered my room with, so I can always remember where I came from and who helped me become me. —Christina Xiao

Home for me is both Jakarta, Indonesia, and Guangzhou, China. I was born in Jakarta, but spent most of my childhood in Guangzhou. Being far away is tough, so to remind me of home I brought pictures of friends and family and an Indonesian SILK BATIK SCARF. These items are a reflection of who I am, of my heritage as well as the people who are most important to me. —Audris Ariadna

My hometown is Boca Raton, Fla. I brought from home a BRACELET I hold dear to my heart because my mother gave it to me before college. It is a pearl bracelet with a silver heart that says, “Be yourself.” She prepped me to reinvent myself into the person I desire to be. Every time I look at it, I remember where I’ve come from and the support I have back at home. —Britt Goldschmidt

I’m from Amman, Jordan. The CHAIN AROUND MY NECK reminds me of what I left behind to come to this country. It oscillates with every step I take. Dangling at the bottom is a verse from the holy Quran, carved ever so scrupulously. My Jordanian heritage and my Muslim faith are combined in one beguiling necklace. —Hamza Bilbeisi

I was born in Mexico in San Luis Potosi, but I don’t necessarily call it my home. I’ve spent most of my life living abroad: eight years in Argentina and another seven years in China. I’ve brought from China my high school’s Class of 2013 hoodie. It reminds me of the wonderful people I met and the great memories I made with them. To remind me of my Mexican roots, I’ve brought a massive package of MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE MIX. It’s something that my family and I have been drinking since I was a child, so not only does it bring back old memories, but it also makes me feel closer to my family despite the distance. —Paulina Zarate Rodriguez

I’m from Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Burma). I brought BURMESE FOOD with me. There isn’t any available in Boston. I’ve eaten it since I was a child, and it really reminds me of home. —Pyi Phyo

Mardi Gras feather boa

My hometown is New Orleans. I brought a few things to remind me of home: MARDI GRAS FEATHER BOAS; a framed picture of a streetcar and a dog holding a piece of French bread in his mouth after Katrina; and a painting I painted of the bayou. I wanted to come to Babson because it was like New Orleans in many ways. People at Babson are so accepting of your background. In the Big Easy and at Babson, no one cares what you look like, your race or skin color, if you go to church or temple, as long as you bring your whole, unique self to the table and share it with everyone. —Rachel Green

 

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