by Luiza Osorio (´14)


The days are getting colder and shorter, and the illusion that I’m actually at summer camp and will return home at any minute is floating away little by little. I’ve been here for a little more than a month, but I don’t think it has sunk in that I’m really here yet, which is strange to think about. 


I miss my family, I miss my home, I miss my friends, I miss OLM...and perhaps, most of all, I miss my bathroom. Don’t ever take yours for granted! (Not really, I don’t miss having my own bathroom the most. I do wish for one terribly, however, and that’s just one of the things that I’ve had to get used to.)


That’s the thing, though: I’m getting used to it! 

I’m starting to appreciate the cold, even if it means that I have to literally drag myself out of my warm bed in the morning, because the arrival of cold signifies the arrival of fall. (Witnessing the changing colors of leaves is one of those small things that might not mean much in retrospect, but that mean that much more in the present; the reds and oranges are beautiful and inspiring and renewing.) 


I enjoy drinking tea now. My friends and I have what I like to think of as "tea nights”: usually about once a week, when we are all feeling overwhelmed with work and maybe more than a little homesick, we end up in someone’s room. We talk, and drink tea. The warmth and the sense of family, even though I just met them a little while ago, makes it all a little better. 


(The warmth of the tea is not the same as the warmth of the cookies that Mom used to heat up for me on Saturday mornings, though. They represent different things, but I’m starting to realize that it’s fine to be happy with one of each at a time.)


I miss speaking Portuguese. I miss arguing with my brother about the most trivial and stupid things, and I miss watching movies with my parents on weekends. 


On the other hand, I now have things that I had missed before, without actively knowing that I even needed them in the first place.


I now have the freedom to choose what I study and participate in meaningful conversations with people who are concerned about and interested in the same things that I am. I love my classes (Archaeology is my favorite. Who would’ve thought?), and I love being a part of a community along with other people who came here for many reasons, but one reason above all others: to become who they were meant to be by following their passions and fulfilling their dreams. 


Everyone here is so different, and yet so similar. We come from different places, believe in different things, and fight for different causes. We are all Brown Bears, though, and it makes me happy to say that.


It doesn’t quite feel like another home yet, but…who knows? One day it might. (I hope it does.)



I still have a long way to go, but I am starting to feel 

like I belong, and that’s really the most important thing.

Isn’t it?

(from left to right):

Nadia, Elaine, Katy, Maya, Aisha,

Luiza, Maria, Judith, Rania.