College Friends, Home Friends, and Finding True Happiness
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Student Life

College Friends, Home Friends, and Finding True Happiness

Why it is okay to be happier at college than you are at home.

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College Friends, Home Friends, and Finding True Happiness
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Ever since elementary school, I have loved the back-to-school season. A new teacher, fresh school supplies, different classes. Going back to school is even more exciting in college. In college, you won't be from the same hometown as your friends, and oftentimes there are significant barriers to seeing your college friends when you're home for the summer. When you think about it, there was not a huge difference between summer and the school year during our primary schooling years; while we were free from homework and tests during the summer, that allowed us even more time to engage with our friends who lived just a few blocks over or a short drive away. College is not merely the school you go to in order to take classes toward an undergraduate degree; college is your second home, where you study but also socialize and have a life outside of your classes.

As such, leaving your second home to go to your first home for the summer can be difficult, to say the least. In college, you and all your fellow students were quite literally selected to attend your school, and so many students find that their bonds with their college friends are stronger than their bonds with their home friends. Or rather, they find that the bonds they forge in college feel more organic, more natural, because they are formed between people who have some intrinsic commonality that binds them as students who were all accepted and later chose to attend the same school.

Personally, college has introduced me to the friends I always dreamt of having. I love my home friends; don't get me wrong. But in the general setting of my hometown, I had always felt a bit out of place. I craved the friendships I have now, where my friend group can have elevated conversations about the upcoming election which are interwoven with jokes about Harambe; where my best girl friends and I can go from talking about men's clothing to making obscenely sexual jokes that we probably shouldn't be saying in the dining hall (but of course, we do it anyway); and where my suite mates and I can have a quote wall so profound that it should honestly be published.

I just started my sophomore year, and I had forgotten how wonderful it is to feel like you are truly at home amongst your peers. I had been looking forward to going back to being with my college friends all summer; in fact, I often wished that I could be at school with my friends for the summer, just without the homework! When I was younger and my older siblings went away to college, I could never quite understand why they were less than enthused about summer. But now...I get it. Yes, you have all the free time in the world, but you're also away from the people you could not imagine your college experience without - the people who have truly shaped your college experience and made it as wonderful as it is.

I still have close ties with a lot of my friends from home. We get together to hang out when we're home, and I text the friends with whom I'm particularly close while I'm away at school. Over the summer, I felt bad that I was, in the classic sense of the word, drifting away from some of my home friends. But coming back for sophomore year has helped me to realize that that is okay. It is a part of life to move onto different places and different experiences, finding yourself along the way. You can continue to "find yourself" and hone your identity when you are in an environment where you can not only be your true self, but also befriend people who are just as sassy and sarcastic as you are. And while it is good to keep in touch with those people who were there for you before college, it is also completely okay to realize that you feel so much happier and more at home at college. This year, I'm owning my happiness, and I encourage everyone to do the same.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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