Before I left home, I took one last look at the salty water that I knew I would come to miss. I said goodbye to my friends and family, knowing that I would not see them for five weeks. I thought to myself, “will my cat even be alive when I get back?”
“Tomorrow” was the day that my parents and I (along with my six tons of luggage) packed into two cars for the drive to a small town in Vermont, five hours from my home. I couldn’t tell if I was excited or nervous for about three weeks. And now that the day had finally come, my mind was completely jumbled.
Now, I find myself three weeks into my time here at Castleton.
I feel lucky to say that my transition has been generally easy. The workload is not as much as I expected, I’ve made some great friends, and I must add that it is very nice to have relatives about five minutes down the road in Bomoseen. However, I do miss home. And I really miss my family and friends (and my cat who is still alive as of now.)
In fact, the biggest transition I’ve experienced over these few weeks is the change in setting. My hometown is much different than this town of Castleton. I come from Pawcatuck, a small village in Stonington, Connecticut in the Southeast corner of the state. It is home to one of the oldest Thanksgiving Day high school football rivalries in the country. Seriously, look it up on Wikipedia, scroll down a lot and you’ll see “Stonington vs. Westerly.” I’m also 20 minutes away from Rhode Island’s beaches, which is certainly a major sacrifice when leaving for Vermont.
My town is also a tourist trap. AKA, in the summertime, it is super busy. A small town plus thousands of tourists is never a good sum. There are small businesses and shops everywhere, many neighborhoods filled with nice houses, and of course, the beach.
In Castleton, there’s about three houses. And they’re all college houses. Okay, maybe that’s exaggerated, but that’s what it’s like compared to Pawcatuck. There are trees everywhere. It’s shocking to me that I can turn onto a different street and not have to wait five minutes every time. There’s diners, which is crazy. I never thought I’d see grocery stores that sell liquor. I didn’t know that a bumper sticker could be so important. And most importantly, what the hell is a “creemee?”
I love Vermont, and I love Castleton. I feel like I fit right into this community. It was weird at first, especially when it seemed like almost everyone knew someone from high school except me. It’s just such a different atmosphere. Nevertheless, It’s the perfect home away from home. But let this be clear, I will ALWAYS call it soft serve.