going from a city school back to your small town

10 Things You Realize About Going Home To Your Small Town After A Year Of College In The City

Goodbye city college and hello small town I grew up in.

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When it came time for me to start looking for colleges, I wanted nothing to do with the small schools that are out in the middle of a cornfield. I come from a small town, and I absolutely hate it, so of course, I had to choose a big city school. I ended up choosing Temple University, and I love it there.

When it came time for summer vacation though, I of course was excited to come home and spend a couple of months with my family, see some old friends, and take a break from school work. The thing I was dreading though, actually having to come back to the town I live in.

For anyone who can relate, here are some thoughts I had during my first week home that pretty much sums up the transition from city to small hometown.

1. Cars: I actually have to drive one now.

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I was so used to walking everywhere around campus, or if I had to go anywhere, I'd take an Uber, Lyft, or even the subway. The concept of having to drive a car at this point is so foreign to me.

2. Food is not in within walking distance anymore.

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If I used to get hungry at 1 am, my roommates and I would get Insomnia, order pizza, or just see if anything is open. Around lunch time, we could walk across the street to the many restaurants, go to any of the dinning halls, walk across campus for other places to eat, or even go into center city. Now, I have to drive 10 minutes for the closest place to eat. This is very depressing for me.

3. "Ok, now I have to actually look appealing when I go somewhere."

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At school, if I had to run to the grocery store or something, I'd walk out of my room in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. The only people I was likely to see was another person from class, who was also most likely sporting the same attire as I was. Now, I have to try when I go out. I can see people ranging from: my neighbor, my 4th-grade teacher, my high school guidance counselor, an ex, ya never know.

4. There is that one spot in town that everyone goes to, so you just know you'll run into someone there.

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For me, it's an ice cream place down the street from my house called Handles. Everyone (and I really mean everyone) goes here.

5. Since it is a small town, if you see someone, you have to stop and have a 5 minute conversation on how your first year of college went.

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Responses range from... "I love Temple so much, I'm so glad I picked it.", "Yes, I met a lot of friends!", "Yes, I still keep in contact with my roommates, they are pretty cool."

6. When there is that one person you see that you have not talked to in forever, and you do not want today to be the day you start again.

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Dodge and run, dodge and run, dodge and run.

7. There is absolutely nothing to do.

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Conversations go a little like this...

me: mom, I'm bored, want to do something?

mom: we could go see a movie.

me: is there anything else we can do?

mom: ...we can go see a different movie.

8. There is no night life, it is way too quite now.

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For a college campus that is in the city, everyone knows that the school never really gets quiet. There are always cars on Broad Street, you can hear the subway, and people are walking around campus. There is just always some type of noise. At home, I get the occasional cricket chirp at night.

9. Comparing your college experiences with the other people that went further away from home becomes a game.

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All of a sudden every cool or weird thing you did during your first year at school becomes part of a bragging game.

10. There is at least one thing that you will say you like about your small town.

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Though I would 100% say I am not a small town person, at all, I truly did miss the relaxation of the seasons. I always thought my area had a really pretty change of each season because of how much greenery and plants there are. I love when I came back for the summer that everything was so green and colorful. You don't see much of that in a city, though Temple really does try their best with it.

I'm ready for this summer, but can't wait to go back to my second home.

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

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College Made Me Feel Like I Can't Have Free Time

Every second that I do have free, I feel like I need to be working on some type of homework.

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There's no doubt that college is taxing on most student's mental health. You get to the point where you feel stressed about even breathing. I have hit the point where I feel like I'm permanently affected by the stress that I've dealt with this semester.

I used to have so much free time. Even in my other semesters, I had time to hang out with my friends, work, and even be lazy when I wanted to be.

I was still a good student, I got all my assignments done on time and I worked hard on them, but I never really had an overwhelming workload.

That is, until this semester. I got to a point where work was overwhelming, I was working longer hours than I was used to, and having to spend every second that I wasn't in class or at work doing homework, whether it was just lengthy math problems or writing multiple essays or scripts.

After months of being in this habit, when my workload from both work and school died down and I actually had free time, I didn't know what to do with myself.

When my friends were busy and I just wanted a relaxing day at home, since I felt like I deserved it, I would try to just lay down and rest, either reading a good book or catching up on all the shows that my stress had caused me to miss.

But there was always a voice in the back of my head reminding me of every upcoming assignment. I would start thinking about the essay due the next week, or a test that I could be studying for ahead of time.

That voice kept telling me I was being unproductive and wasting my time if I wasn't getting ahead on school work when I finally had the time.

And so I'm still in a position, at the end of the semester, where I feel like I'm wasting my time every time I lay down and just want to take a nap because I'm exhausted from running between work and school. I'm trying to fight myself and tell myself that I am allowed to be lazy for at least a little bit, and I don't need to be constantly working.

Hopefully, that voice wins over, especially with summer coming up. With all of the free time, I'll have since I won't have to stress about school, hopefully, I'll be able to better balance my busy days with my lazy days.

I know this is probably an issue for many college students who are overwhelmed with everything that they have to do. Hopefully, summer break is a nice break for all of us and it gives us the chance to get the free time that we all deserve for surviving this semester, and the school year overall.

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