Funny Coming Home by Ruth Yao

Describe your experience coming back to the US and starting your senior year at Tulane. Did you experience discomfort or disorientation when returning to the US?

When asked about adjusting returning back to the States, I’ve been back in the States for a month, and there’s definitely an element of comfort being back in a familiar place, being able to grab breakfast at Whole Foods or stream Netflix. A “discomfort” returning to the States is realizing how compartmentalized life is.

The year abroad and that piece of me is never really known by the people here, because they didn’t experience it with me. Life’s weird like that. You can tell your friends and families about the experiences you’ve had, and they can observe changes in you. Obvious but your life is only really experienced by you. People experience pieces with you. The people I studied abroad with went through similar experiences, feelings and memories. The people I come home to or meet, share separate experiences.

Isn’t that weird? You’re the same you, but people know different yous. Funny because my Chinese name is pronounced you (funny is used very loosely).

Also when you’re traveling, studying, and living abroad, everyone knows that you are. They know there’s a side of you, a different home, a separate life. Coming back “home”, people don’t think about the other piece of you half way across the world. But it’s a strange feeling meeting people and interacting with people, who know nothing about how weird, crazy, and changing your past year was. That time you hopped on the back of a stranger’s motorcycle in Vietnam, or went on a morning jog through the countryside of England. That time you fell for someone, or that time you met one of your best friends on the streets of Hong Kong. But again, I guess that’s life…

Apologies for my rambling post, but my thoughts ramble.


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