When you come home from college after almost a whole semester apart from family, friends, your significant other and your hometown, everything seems a little off. At first, I wasn't sure what "it" was - was I missing school? Did I lose touch with myself and my home? Was I just overwhelmingly exhausted from a long year?
At the moment, it was a mix of all those things. After only a few days of being home, I had rearranged and deep-cleaned my room. I went through my closet, still full of all the clothes left behind, and I tugged shirt after dress after sweater out of the closet. Everything felt cluttered. I hated it. Why did I keep so many things that didn't matter to me? When you're cleaning your room at 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning after coming home from college, you have a few realizations.
1. Nothing is permanent.
It's fairly self-evident that nothing in life will stick around forever, but I really had to push this through my brain this summer. I had to step back, realize I was home and reset my life. School is over, but I had four whole months to spend here. Not there. When I was going through my deep closet of boxes, random clothes and scraggly hangers, I saw bits and pieces of the past - an old homecoming dress, ballet shoes, a stuffed animal. All things I forgot about and re-remembered with a single glance. They've all come and gone.
2. Clutter accumulates fast.
One second I think I have "no clothes" to wear, the next I find 20 shirts I forgot about and never wear. Your clutter builds quickly, and you need to weave through the mess to find your favorite treasurers. Goodwill becomes your favorite driving destination - when you need to get rid of something, give it to someone in need. I put together bags of items from my room in a single sweep. It's crazy to think how fast the miscellaneous and careless items in your life build up, and you just have to get rid of them.
3. Nostalgia comes and goes.
I swear, after I looked through a few photos and tried to try on a few old dresses, I was missing high school already (something I never thought I would say). It's hard to say goodbye but even harder to say goodbye again everytime you look at that familiar object. I'd never thought I'd miss high school, but I do. I miss the small moments and simplicity, not always the people or mindless classes.
While I'm here for the next few months, I want to take in the moments I once wished out of my life. I want to get incredibly annoyed with my small town, so I can come back a year later and miss it even more. I want to get extremely frustrated at my dog for barking every five minutes, so I can come home and cherish her annoying bark that much more. I want to remember what it means to be just me, not a student.
Who knew a few hours in my room would lead to a few realizations about life?