Coming into college at 18 years of age, I was ready to get away. I was tired of feeling grown up without actually being grown up. I was ready to meet new people, go on new adventures, and really find myself in the un-comfortability of college.
Nobody ever tells you that you're going to be homesick, though. I was lucky enough to live a couple hours from my college town, so I knew that the option of going home for a weekend was always available. But I didn't know that my first semester of college was going to be miserable.
I grew up with spectacular parents who loved me well and took incredible care of me, but I grew up in a town where everybody knew everybody, and at the end of the day, I knew I wasn't supposed to stay there. I knew I needed to go somewhere else, and so I did. I remember my parents leaving me at college after moving me into my dorm in August. I remember being scared. I remember being sad. As the first month of school went by, I was miserable. I hated it. I hated being away from home. I didn't understand what I was really doing. I felt uncomfortable. I felt homesick. I let all of those feelings and emotions envelop me.
So I went home as often as I could, and it helped. It helped me gain back my joy. But most importantly, it helped me realize that I was called to more at my school. I was so overwhelmed by this feeling of un-comfortability that I ran back to the comfort of my family and home when I hadn't even given college a chance.
The past two years:
Well, I decided to give it a chance. I decided to get out of my shell and get involved. I decided to be invested in people and give them a chance to change my perspective. And sometimes, I still decide to be homesick. I decide to miss my family.
Fall break is this week, and for the first time in two months, I get to go home. I'll decide to eat an overwhelming amount of home cooked food. I'll decide to watch cheesy Hallmark movies with my Mom and college football with my Dad. And I'll probably decide to cry when my mama says goodbye and watches me pull out of the driveway. But that's okay.
College has taught me a lot about myself. It has taught me what I need and what I can live without. It has taught me to miss people and to give those people a call. It's taught me that I can be whoever I want to be. It taught me that it's okay to be homesick as long as you know where your home is. And it taught me that it's okay to have a home away from home.
**Happy Fall Break! Thank you, Lee University, for being my home away from home.