Today’s post comes to us from LUC student Lily Pappanikou! She’s studying abroad with us in Edinburgh, Scotland. She’s opening up about experiencing homesickness – which is something many students experience while abroad! API recommends reaching out to your resident director for support if you need it while abroad!
Last year, being in the NCAA Final Four was such an exciting time to be a Rambler.
With national coverage of the basketball team, we became “the Harry Potter school” with our maroon and gold striped scarves, more famously known as the Hogwarts colors. Here, in the city where J.K. Rowling wrote many of the Harry Potter books, I see maroon and gold everywhere. I see it in windowshops and on people’s hats and scarves. I get so excited to throw my “‘blers up” hand before remembering what they mean when they sport maroon and gold stripes. As I pass closer, their merchandise always says “Hogwarts” or “Gryffindor”. Still, I am always happy to see our school colors and it makes me feel a twinge of familiarity in this new place.
I have shoved homesickness (or “schoolsickness”) to the back of my mind successfully for a few weeks (not a method of coping that I would recommend). The maroon and gold stripes always make me a little sad. However, I am not a fan of Harry Potter, and it makes me giggle to see people line up in front of The Elephant House Cafe, famous for being the exact location where J.K. Rowling wrote many pages of the first few books of the series. They wait in the rain, snow, and sleet to get in. However, from many online reviews and testimonies from people I meet who have visited, it ends up to be a disappointing experience as far as the actual coffee and cakes go.
I am sure they would be happier to spend their money on food and coffee that is worth it!
Maybe in Cafe Arrivadolce, listening to the construction along North Sheridan Road, watching Chicagoans fight against being blown over in the harsh Lake Michigan winds as they make their way down the street. They might like Metropolis Coffee Company on Granville Ave, close to where people were paintballed by a moving vehicle last year, and where I have seen countless domestic disputes under the train tracks (there is never a dull moment in Chicago). Maybe they would like to be visit the school that made the 2018 Final Four after over 50 years. At least, that is where I would want to go right now; that is my maroon and gold.