Relics of home: A thought piece

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Being home for winter break often feels like taking a trip down memory lane. Your home is a place of comfort — time seems to have frozen the moment you left and retained all of your most precious memories, much like a time capsule. You simply cannot get the same feeling of comfort during the many months you’re away at school. It’s difficult not to get a wee bit nostalgic as you catch sight of the familiar pattern of your bed sheets or the old clothes hanging in your closet. The Clog has compiled some personal examples of the relics you might find in your room at home.

room 1

Staff/Abigail Balingit

Looking at the framed pictures of your younger self on your desk, you see someone you barely even recognize anymore. As you fawn over how cute your were as a baby, you wonder how quickly it all changed — especially during middle school, when you quickly hit rock bottom with your looks. When you see your yearbook photo, all the regrets of your hideous middle school haircut can come surging back, making you question why your parents never told you bangs were a bad idea. As the years progress backwards, the more distant you seem to be from the person in your photos.

room 2

Staff/Abigail Balingit

The old band posters on the walls encapsulate a moment in time when your taste was a bit odd (or maybe you still like these bands, but their members have gotten a lot older and arguably “better”). Gazing up at the interior design you did as an angsty teenager, you might even be grateful that your aesthetic has improved drastically.

room 3

Staff/Abigail Balingit

Even the diaries you kept reveal your long-forgotten dreams. Reading old entries may let you look fondly on the past or bring back cringeworthy moments you’d rather not experience again. Let’s be real, your crush was way cuter when he was in middle school.

room 4

Staff/Abigail Balingit

The gaming systems you used to spend too much time on now seem nondescript. You remember the fever with which you used to look forward to the release of the new Mario game and how you used to play it for hours on end. Now, even an hour of any of those games is excessive.

During family parties, you’d skirt panic-inducing questions of “How’s school?” and “When do you graduate?” Then, your personal favorite: “So what do you want to do with your degree?” As you dive headfirst into your mysterious future, you’d rather not think about the stress of figuring out life beyond school and home.

Why do we attempt to disassociate our present selves from our past selves? Most of the time, we don’t even want to acknowledge that the dorky kid in braces who’s sitting on the mantelpiece, or the equally embarrassing child with that huge collection of My Little Pony plush toys, was who we once were.

As we reminisce about our past, it becomes clear that a lot has changed, but being home allows the chance to hang onto a piece of ourselves that we once knew. Alternatively, some might pride themselves on the fact that they’ve stayed the same at their core. College, however, has a way of subtly changing us without our even realizing it’s happening.

In general, our old rooms shed light on a period of our lives that’s bittersweet to revisit. Times were simpler. People didn’t constantly ask about the future. Being at a point in our lives when we’re waking up to an existential crisis every other day, it’s nice to be at home around the things that brought, and still bring, comfort. When we return to school and even bring back some of these relics to our respective dorm and apartment rooms, we’ll rediscover just how easy it is to make UC Berkeley our home away from home.

Contact Abigail Balingit at [email protected].