Home is where I make it

How moving to Fremont has impacted my life


Google Maps

The distance from Fremont to Cupertino shown by Google Maps.

Diya Bahl

Cupertino’s not an exceptionally exciting suburb — there’s nothing to do here besides walk around Main Street with friends, explore the various selection of boba shops or drive up to the viewpoints in the hills. But last December, when my parents informed me that we would be moving to Fremont in March, the overwhelming anxiety that formed a pit in my stomach at the thought of residing anywhere other than Cupertino took over me. Despite its lack of excitement, Cupertino suddenly seemed like the only place I ever wanted to be.

Our old, worn-down rental house was no longer serving us well, so we began to require a larger space for our family to live as comfortably as possible. In addition, my parents had always made it clear that it was a dream of theirs to buy their own home, since they had only ever rented homes after immigrating to America. They wished to decorate their home however they pleased, and wanted a larger kitchen where my mom could continue cooking her elaborate dishes. 

But I was comfortable just where I was. I had lived in the same house in Cupertino all my life, so I wasn’t exactly keen on moving to a new city that was 30 minutes away. I loved my little house, even if it meant I had to share a room with my older sister and suffer in the heat all summer because our air conditioner didn’t work. All these memories made it perfect to me — it made my house feel more like home. But I suddenly had to leave it behind for what I anticipated would be much worse.

Fremont seemed like nothing but fast food chains and a couple of clothing stores here and there, but sure, it had its perks. Since most of my aunts, uncles and cousins live there, I became closer to my family. The house I was moving into was also newly built, so it came with a modern kitchen and a room just for me. I got to decorate my room the way I wanted, and I finally had my own personal space — something I never had before. 

However, there was still a long list of disadvantages, all of which initially made me desperate to move back to Cupertino. I didn’t change high schools because I have senior privilege, meaning I can live outside FUHSD and still attend MVHS. However, this translates to having to wake up extra early in the morning for the 30 minute drive to Cupertino and the same length drive back, which is sometimes longer due to traffic. The move to Fremont caused me to be 15 minutes late to my first period class on the first day of school this year because I didn’t anticipate the never-ending amount of traffic, which made me reminisce on the time when it only took 10 minutes to get there. 

Beyond going to school, I also can’t see my friends as often due to the long commute. Going from living two streets away from my best friend to 20 miles has caused random trips to Target to get candy, homework sessions at each other’s houses and driving to Popeyes while blasting and singing our hearts out to sad Frank Ocean music to transform into frequent and long FaceTime calls, with most of our in-person interaction occurring during school. 

Although my situation isn’t ideal, over these past few months, I’ve chosen to make the best of it. Taking a long time to drive to Cupertino and back gives me more time to listen and sing along to my favorite music, and honestly, driving relaxes me. Not seeing my friends as often redefines my friendships by making the times I do hang out with them in and out of school more valuable, and I’m still able to create more memories with them since I come to Cupertino everyday for school. 

I still consider Cupertino to be my home because it’s where I grew up. It’s where all my friends are, and where my favorite boba shop is. The majority of my life has been spent in Cupertino, so I’m confident that I won’t forget it, even if I’m not there as often. But I’m continuing to learn to appreciate my new city, and I’m finding ways to help transform it into a home, whether it’s by exploring new boba shops, visiting new viewpoints or making new memories. In the end, home is where I make it.