There’s an old adage that says ‘home is where the heart is’. Most people consider their home as their birthplace, or where childhood memories were made. But junior Maggie McBrien discovered where her true home was after she was forced to leave it. She recently returned from her second time living in Singapore, Asia. The first time she was in middle school, but her most recent visit was this past year as a sophomore. Now back at Mercy for her junior year, McBrien holds these unique experiences close to her heart.
NP: When you got the news that you had to move back to Singapore a second time, how did you react?
MM: I had mixed emotions. I was excited because I was going to be able to attend SAS [Singapore American School], which is one of the top 5 international schools in the world, so I was anxious to take advantage of that. But at the same time I was afraid because I have good friends here that I didn’t want to leave behind. Also, my first time there in middle school was a tough experience, so I was nervous to go back to that environment.
NP: Were there times living over there when you were really homesick?
MM: Yes, of course. When I first got there and soaked it all in, it was hard to get used to the idea of having to call it ‘home’. But it was something that I had to do. I didn’t have a choice. The first few weeks were the toughest.
NP: What helped you get through these times?
MM: My faith and praying to God definitely helped. I knew my religion was always there for me. In addition, having my family there helped because they were going through this experience too. I had them to talk through this with me in ways my friends couldn’t. But if I wanted to talk to my friends, things like Skype and Facebook really helped me connect back home. I continued to play piano in Singapore, and I was casted in SAS’s production of ‘Grease’, which enabled me to meet new people.
NP: At the end of your year in Singapore, you knew you were coming home soon. What made the promise of returning back to Grosse Pointe something to look forward to?
MM: As the year went by, the anticipation of coming home grew more and more. I was excited to have my group of friends to come home to, and knowing I would be able to see their faces soon. I had a core group of friends who really helped me the whole time through this experience.
NP: Looking back on it, do you miss it, or are you happy to be home?
MM: I do miss the culture of Asia, and the traveling I did, like to Australia and other parts of Asia. It’s not as available to you in the U.S. But I’m really happy to be home. Grosse Pointe has always been and will always be my true home.