Orange, CT is the place that I have lived for nearly my entire life. It is the place I call home, the place where a multitude of memories, experiences, and people close to me still reside. It is the place where I felt most comfortable, a place where I knew everyone and everyone knew me. I was Mikaila Schmitt, daughter of Felicia and Ron, Amity High School basketball player, straight A student, and friendly to everyone. I developed relationships not only with my peers but also with my teachers, neighbors, adults, and people all throughout my town. I knew this place inside and out and it knew me just as well. I was so connected to my community, my high school, my family, my friends, and everything that had to do with Orange, CT, I’ve never felt like such an “insider” anywhere else in my life.
Then, graduation day came and with college just around the corner I moved 946 miles away to start a new chapter of my life in this place called Atlanta, GA. Eight weeks, eight weeks was all it took for me to become an outside in a place that I had called home for 12 years. Atlanta was great but by the time Fall Break came around I was so ready to go home to my place where I felt comfortable and familiar. I was so ready to be in my house, my room, visit my old high school teachers and friends, fill the neighbors in on how it’s like to be a “college girl.” But quite honestly as soon as the plane touched down in CT something just felt off. But I figured I would see my parents and everything would feel right again, and when that felt off, too I told myself that I just needed to get back to my house and then everything would be normal. This process continued until I came to the realization that things weren’t going back to normal anytime soon. Eight weeks, eight weeks was all it took for me to become an outside in a place where I had been the definition of an insider for the past 12 years of my life.