Has it really been six months since I arrived in New Haven, young and spry, ready to embark on the journey that is college? I honestly thought that the journey was the 12-hour car ride from Ohio to Connecticut itself, but that was only just the beginning. Navigating the unfamiliar waters of college was a challenge, and so many things felt new. However, to my surprise, amidst all of the newness, I managed to find a few fortuitous semblances of home.

Saturday Mornings at Atticus

If you see me with a little pep in my step on a Saturday morning, jovially swinging Bingham Gate open, then you know exactly where I’m going: Atticus. I’m as predictable as the Saturday rain (which, by the way, never prevents me from my weekly excursion). 

Even my FroCo knows. This past Saturday, when I was walking back through Bingham Gate with a piping hot cup of joe in my hand, my FroCo, who passed by me, asked, “Is that a French Toast latte from Atticus?” Is it embarrassing for me that she was spot on? Anyways, I have no shame. 

I’ll admit, I’m not that quick to latch onto a coffee shop because I have my tried and true favorite back in Cincinnati. But that’s when I realized why I love Atticus so much — it reminds me of my coffee shop back home! There are so many similarities between the two places, like the warm spices of my go-to latte and the cozy atmosphere, but what really strikes me the most is the similarity of the ritual. I would walk to my local coffee shop on Saturday mornings, waiting anxiously and excitedly in line for my drink. But it’s also seeing the familiar faces, always knowing that I’d run into someone and chat for a little bit. 

My Saturday morning coffees have always been my weekend reset after a hectic week of assignments and activities. And I’m thankful to have found that same token of comfort here. 

Pasta alla Bolognese in Commons

I thought nothing could cure the painful feeling of the sharp, New England cold biting at my nose. Grabbing coffee or tea to-go from breakfast continuously failed; after just a few sips, the cold would penetrate my drink and turn my once soothing cup of warmth and joy into a cup of emptiness and disappointment. 

However, last week, I ventured into the line of Pasta e Basta in Commons and came across the Pasta alla Bolognese. At first bite, it immediately warmed me up. But it also warmed my soul. It tasted so familiar, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. 

I took another bite, and it hit me like the punch from the spices themselves: Cincinnati chili. I was tasting the Cincinnati chili from my family’s diner that I had missed so much. What distinguishes it from other varieties is that it’s often served atop hotdogs or spaghetti. One of the most iconic dishes is a “3-way,” which consists of a bed of spaghetti ladled with a secret chili recipe and topped with a generous mountain of shredded Wisconsin cheddar cheese. The flavors and the heartiness of the dish transported me back to the restaurant, and I found myself sitting at my usual spot at the end of the counter, eating a 3-way, drinking a pink lemonade and relishing in the warmth of familiarity. 

Intramural Basketball

The sound of sneakers squeaking against polished wood is an all-too-familiar sound that I hadn’t heard in awhile. At least not until this past Thursday, when I decided to play intramural basketball for the first time. I haven’t laced up my high-tops since last February when my senior season ended, and I thought my basketball career had gone with it. Nevertheless, after a week of exhausting midterms and papers to write, I decided to blow off some steam by shooting hoops with the Branford IMs squad. 

Apparently there was a mix-up with the times, so we never actually ended up playing another ResCo; however, we did get a few people together for a quick pick-up game. It was so fun to get back into the rhythm — heart beating, shoes squeaking, ball bouncing. I even tried to whip out a few of my post moves from back in the day (emphasis on “tried”). Nevertheless, playing brought me back to my days of high school hoops that I didn’t realize I so dearly missed until that night. 

Who says home has to be the place of residence you have lived in the longest? Maybe home is simply the unexpected amalgamation of all the things that bring you copious amounts of joy. The things that remind you of a place where you once lived that have handily filled the gaps in this new space of yours. If that’s the case, then welcome to O-HI-HOME.