Every May, many college students return home from school and live in their hometown for the three months of summer vacation. There are four major stages we all go through as we readjust to life away from our college town.

1. The Excitement

Coming home to family and pets is an amazing feeling. Your parents have prepared your favorite meal or taken you out to your favorite hometown restaurant. The first night in your bed feels like the best sleep you’ve had since you left last year. You visit with friends who are also home from rival schools and reminisce on old memories.

2. The Boredom

After being home for around a week, the lack of constant company and murmur of music starts to create a sense of loneliness. Whether you live in an apartment, a residence hall or a fraternity/sorority house, you’re probably used to people being around all the time. You’re used to chatter, music and arguments occurring as naturally as breathing. When you’re home though, most likely you aren’t around people your own age 24/7. The activities of your hometown will go forgotten for awhile because of the memories of college activities.

3. The Norm

After being home for two or three weeks, it will start to feel normal again. You’ll get into a routine and find new ways to cure your boredom. You visit those old coffee shops you loved in high school. You make new friends to see the summer blockbusters and explore new areas with. If your family eats meals together, that time spent pondering when and what you’ll eat next will disappear and be replaced with memories with family. Whether you have a summer job or are taking classes online, you’ll have the struggle of time management and balancing fun and work. Make sure to work in quality time with family and friends that you missed throughout the eight months that you were in school.

4. The End

When you finally get everything right and start to feel settled into life at home, it’ll be time to go back to college again. The summer flies by, and in a blink, fall semester is here. It’s time to pack up all your clothes and supplies once more and head back to the college you love. Saying goodbye will be hard. Be sure to take things you forgot last year.

Once we get back to school, we will forget about the stages and return to our daily college lives. However, when May comes again next year, it’ll be time to do this all over again.