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Coming home for the holidays

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By Elizabeth Hjelvik

College begins a new chapter in life for both students and families. Students get to see a life outside of Los Alamos and families adjust to missing a family member that is miles away.
Some young people have described the experience of leaving home as exciting, overwhelming, interesting and sad.
In contrast, families have said that having a part of their family leaving is sad, but also a proud experience because that person is moving on in life.
In the months of November and December, the weather gets colder, people’s bank accounts dwindle and the holidays arrive.
This time of year marks a season of giving, joy and guilt-free eating, but it’s also a time for families to be reunited.
Aidan Bradbury Aranda, a 2012 Los Alamos High School graduate, is attending the University of Southern California and is majoring in film.
Bradbury Aranda said that leaving New Mexico was “an interesting change because I was used to living in a smaller town and moving to the big city was exciting, but also a bit overwhelming.” He also said he missed the nature, the stars and green chile.
Even though he likes California, Bradbury Aranda said, “I like being home because I get to see my family again, as well as my friends, plus I prefer living in my house than in my dorm room.”
Students that remain in New Mexico and are close to home still miss certain things.
Ada Ciuca, another 2012 Los Alamos High School graduate, is currently attending New Mexico State University and majoring in journalism and marketing.
She said that even though Los Alamos isn’t her type of town, she still misses things like Morning Glory burritos and her family and friends. Similar to Bradbury Aranda, Ciuca likes being home, but she also enjoys being at NMSU because it provides a change in scenery.
Missing home doesn’t just apply to college freshmen.
Christian Hjelvik, a junior majoring in English at Stony brook University, really missed Los Alamos despite the fact he has been attending college for the past three years.
He said that leaving “was sad but exciting because I was leaving my family, but I was also going to New York.” Hjelvik said the thing he really misses about New Mexico is the chile.
When college students come home, they often revive old habits such as eating breakfast burritos with chile on them and looking at landscapes in their hometowns.
They also get to resume their life at home and be surrounded by their loved ones — even if it’s only temporary.