I've been away for nine months. And to be honest, I'm a completely different person now. Most of you might not like who I've become, but I am stronger.

Your first summer home is strange. You spend the first month back answering the non stop questions of, "How was your first year of college?" "Where are you going to school?" "Doesn't the drive get boring?" "Why aren't you going to school closer to home?" "What are you majoring in?" and the always annoying "Did you party every weekend?" But you suffer through the questions and distribute the long hugs and hellos. Because after all these people are your roots. And no matter what you still love them the same. But all you can think about is school.

To my friends who stayed home:

I know you won't always understand why I can't wait to go back after just getting home. And that's okay, cause you don't know what its like to leave for college. But I hope one day you take that chance and leave. You all will always be the roots I came from, but a tree needs to grow to live, and that is what you helped me do.

To my friends who did leave:

Thank you for understanding. You are going through the same thing I am and its so nice to have someone to confide in. I don't know what I would have done without you here to listen to my late night complaining. And I'm so happy to be able to listen to you do the same. We both know how much we missed each other while we were away, but it is nice to be able to hear about your new life and family as well.

To my parents:

I love you so much, and always will. You raised me into the person I am today. And I thank you for that. Because now I was able to create a new side of my own family, and I wouldn't trade them for the world. The best part of coming home is being around you, and if I talk a little too much about my college family, just know it is because I want you to love them as much as I do.

To my College Family:

It is hard to believe I have only know you all for a year. But in that year you have already helped me grow and find who I truly am. Being away for you for just a short three months is honestly one of the hardest things I've done. But I push through, thankful that we will be reunited soon. Between the random adventures and the lazy nights doing nothing, you've become the family I was able to choose. Sometimes family isn't always blood, and I am so happy I can call you mine. Thank you for taking me as I am and accepting me into your lives. The next three years will bring more memories and I can't wait to see where it takes us.

To everyone:

I love you. Thank you for making me, well, me.