Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Home is where the heart is

Nora Romman

Growing up, Allen, Texas, never stood out to me before college. I thought of Allen as any traditional suburb: a city removed from Dallas with new development and a perfectly normal community. There was nothing particularly remarkable about my hometown — no notorious history, landmarks or claim to fame. And while I didn’t mind it, I certainly wasn’t swooning over Allen. I simply accepted my life there at face value and moved on.

My time at UT drastically altered my attitude toward Allen. Returning for Labor Day weekend during freshman year, I saw the city through an entirely different lens. Entering my neighborhood was simultaneously foreign and comforting; the expansive alleys and community park reenergized me after two weeks on UT’s busy campus. 

Even the city’s finer details came into focus. As I drove through the streets, I scrutinized my surroundings like never before. Had someone planted a new tree on the end of the sidewalk? Was there an H-E-B under construction near my house? I was determined to absorb every inch of the city before being whisked back to UT. 

Every subsequent trip to and from Allen that year was its own adventure. Each time I left, I left a part of myself — and the city — behind. Each time I returned, I immersed myself in my old lifestyle and eagerly explored what new changes the city offered. Take a moment to appreciate your city the next time you return from UT.

Whether your hometown is rural, urban or suburban, it holds memories of routines and habits from a past life. I miss the peacefulness of my street and the casual walks and drives I took through the city. I’ll always remember the boba shop two blocks away, where the employees know my name and order before I step inside. And our unforgettable Fourth of July fireworks displays are second to none. 

Other aspects of the city I was previously unaware of surfaced for the first time. I was blissfully unaware that Allen hosts a spectacular light show for the holiday season, and I only recently discovered the nearby apartment complex has restaurants with excellent fusion food. 

Perhaps I’ll go there again this December to treat myself.

Our hometowns are powerful remnants of our past, and we cannot take them for granted. They may adapt and evolve while we’re gone, but they always remain familiar enough to remind us of our roots. 

I have gradually learned to savor my visits to Allen — no matter how fleeting they may be. My back-and-forth trips between the city and UT have imparted a new perspective on my small corner of the world. Although I never realized how much Allen meant to me until I left, I’m determined to appreciate its many nuances and treasures each time I return.

Gokhale is a finance sophomore from Allen, Texas.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Mihir Gokhale, Associate Opinion Editor
Mihir Gokhale is a second-year student from Allen, Texas majoring in finance and minoring in economics and government. He currently serves as an Associate Opinion Editor and was previously the Texan's Associate Managing Editor.