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By Luke Clapp

My first semester at Macalester was a whirlwind of new experiences, academic challenges and personal discovery.
Returning to my Indiana home was bittersweet. Spending time with high school friends and feasting on my mom’s Hoosier cooking was a great way to enjoy the pleasures of the familiar. The month without papers, tests, or never-ending Chemistry labs was a welcome relief from the chaotic stresses of Mac.
But I felt myself missing the freedoms of Macalester. I could no longer go months without doing laundry, cleaning my room, or arguing with my parents. My carefree practice of taking whatever class let me sleep in the latest was challenged by those who doubted the liberal arts philosophy and wondered what job I was going to get by taking “Jihad and Crusade.”
I also missed the people at Macalester. Not just my Macalester friends whom I expected to miss, but also the other people around campus. Once when I told my dad I was hungry he told me that Burger King is just half a mile away and I experienced a twang of nostalgia for the CafAc Mac employee who serves me heaping portions of chicken curry and calls me buddy. A-
When I returned to Mac after a month punctuated by long periods of laziness and a too-short ski trip to Nevada, I was sorry to leave the creature comforts of home, but glad to be back with friends who already feel like family. I was even willing to spend a restless night crunching numbers on a Chemistry lab.