Every college kid knows the story. When it's almost time to go away to college, you start to get that itch. You're excited to leave home and start out on your own, you start to get tired of your boring hometown, and you end up forgetting what you love in your rush to leave.
I spent an extra year and a half at home when I went to community college, so my desire to leave was much stronger. When I got to Towson, I was completely engrossed in the city. I was all into finding places I'd need to go, learning my way around, and adapting my life to this new, loud, exciting place.
There are a lot of things I miss about home that I took for granted until I moved to the city.
I don't mind Towson. I live in a pretty decent area and obviously, the campus is safe. But the city is loud, crowded, dirty, and sometimes dangerous. I can hear the other residents of my apartment building stomping and yelling at all hours of the day. Trying to make the 7-minute drive to my tanning salon can turn into a 20-minute ordeal on a busy day. Walking anywhere outside of campus is walking along a trail of litter that people were too lazy to hold until the next trashcan a block away. I get alerts from the university about crime almost every other week, it feels. When I have to walk at night, I keep my keys gripped between my fingers.
I'm from a small town in northeastern Maryland. It's small and it's boring, but it's safe, and there are so many things I miss about it.
I miss how quiet the roads were compared to Towson. Driving from my house to my boyfriend's house or my best friend's house on the backroads was always so peaceful, and I miss not being angry at every other driver on the road for being in my way. Even the busiest roads at home have nothing on York Road after 4 pm.
I miss the farms and the fields. They usually stunk of cow manure, but there was something about the way the sunset over them in the evenings that always captivated me. I also miss watching all of the cows grazings. If I stopped on the road to watch them, usually no one would come up behind me and I could just sit with them for a minute (I really like cows and this was a regular occurrence).
One of the things I most looked forward to about leaving was not being known, but after almost 3 months of knowing no one, I miss the comfort and familiarity of seeing people I know everywhere I went.
I miss the Mexican restaurant in town, which is still the best Mexican I've ever had. Even though the town itself was very boring, we were always within half an hour of something else to do.
I miss the church we went to every Sunday, and all of the breakfast places we would go to if we had time afterward.
I think more than anything, I miss the little moments and memories I have from my hometown. Of course, I miss all of my family and my dogs. But it's the little moments that seem insignificant at the time that I miss the most now.
Cruising down the road listening to country music in the truck. Knowing exactly where I'm going. Stopping at the grocery store for a donut. Going to the pizza place at night when there's nothing better to do. Taking a long way home and not having to worry about getting lost. Seeing all of the bunnies in my yard when I get home late.
I like the city and I realize I'll probably have to live here for a while when I start my career. My hometown will always hold a special place in my heart, and I cherish the few moments I get to go home now more than ever.
I always said I didn't want to raise my future family in my hometown, but living away from it has made me realize it was one of the best places to grow up.