An only child, I always knew I couldn't get too far away from home when I went to college. This made my options when applying to college slightly more limited because I was certain in my desire to go to school close to home.
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley of California, about a thirty-minute drive from the city of Los Angeles. Every college I applied to was in California, and a few were too far for me to even consider if I did get in. My top school was always UCLA, but I also considered UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly SLO.
When I found out that I got accepted into UCLA, I was ecstatic for thousands of reasons but one pretty significant reason for my excitement that not a lot of people can relate to was that it was so close to home.
I have always been super close to both my parents and I could not wait for them to come to visit me and for me to go home every so often and eat a home-cooked meal.
I know a few other people here at UCLA who are from the same hometown as me and could go back as often as me if they wanted to. While some do, many others prefer to stay on campus and get the "true college experience." I completely understand and frankly, respect them for being able to have that kind of strength. However, I succumb to the weakness pretty easily.
On average, I spend at least one night at home per week. Being just thirty minutes away from my warm and comforting bed, my mom's delicious dinners, my own shower, my family, and pretty much just my own space is exactly what I wanted.
A lot of people are shocked by how often I go back home and even criticize me for not allowing myself to become fully immersed in my college experience. However, I feel like I'm as involved as I would be if I never step foot off campus. I'm in a sorority, I'm part of a few clubs, I attend campus-famous events, I'm a huge dining hall fan (ask anyone who knows me - I practically live at Bruin Plate), I have a few favorite study spots, and I go out as much as you would expect any college freshman to. On top of all that, I get to enjoy the comfort of doing my laundry at home and sleeping in my room whenever I want. That's pretty great if you ask me.
At first, I did feel a little ashamed of telling my friends I was going home again. Now, they already see it coming, and I know to expect some ~friendly~ jokes and teasing.
So yes, college is a fun time, and I could not be more happy to attend and live on such a beautiful campus filled with so many inspiring and motivated students but, I'll never stop loving the home life, too.