Today felt surreal. Although I’ve known that this whole week that we would be leaving Chicago and going back home today, I was struggling to truly register this fact. I didn’t get much sleep last night, but I felt decently rested when I woke up this morning. I hurried to the dining hall for a quick breakfast. Even though I tired of the dining hall food, it was still sad to eat my last meal there. Following my rushed breakfast, I quickly headed back up to my room to grab my luggage and meet Alana and the rest of the cohort at the cab. On the way, I said good-bye to Tiffany. Good-byes have been one of the hardest parts of leaving this program, but Tiffany and I are determined to have a reunion with the 4 of us Developmental Psychology students who live in the Bay Area.
The ride to O’Hare felt long, but it was good to soak in the views of Chicago a final time. I’ll definitely miss Lake Michigan and all the amazing architecture of the city. At the airport, we made it through baggage check and security in a timely manner, and were left with some time to grab breakfast and shop. I got a cheap deep dish pizza to bring home, and though I doubt it’s the best quality, I thought it would be a funny sort of Chicago souvenir to share with my family.
Our flight today was directly from Chicago to San Francisco, so we wouldn’t have any short stops in random states. I felt this was a relief, though the four hours did feel longer than our shorter flights on the way here. Exhaustion from my lack of sleep last night settled in during the flight, and I spent most of it trying to rest by sleeping or reading.
When the plane finally landed in San Francisco, I was very much ready to return to El Cerrito and my house. Walking through the airport, it almost felt as if we were just at another airport in another stop on a continuing adventure. But as we rode back across the bay, it definitely started to feel like I was back home. Stepping out of the shuttle at El Cerrito High, I was surprised that the weather felt quite pleasant. I was worried that my acclimation to the warmer temperatures in Chicago would make Bay Area weather seem chilly, but today’s sun and light breeze felt perfect. Despite growing accustomed to my environment and lifestyle at UChicago, it’s true that there’s no place like home, and I am glad to be back.