I'm what most would refer to as a homebody, and I've never lived anywhere away from my family's house. Going away to college was a huge adjustment, but something I definitely got used to. Recently, I went home for Winter break, and it wasn't what I expected, and there are both good and bad things about it.
I'll start with the good. It was absolutely amazing to be able to see all of my family and friends again, to sleep in my own room, and eat meals that didn't come from a dining hall or fast food place. But there were also a lot of not-so-good weird things, like the fact that I almost felt like a guest in what's supposed to be my home.
This has nothing to do with my family and their feelings towards me or anything like that; it's the fact that I'm here to crash for a month and I barely even wanted to unpack my suitcase.
Also, as happy as I was to see my old friends, something definitely felt off about not constantly having my college friends to hang out with as well. As much of a relief it was to have my own room back, it took a couple of nights to get used to not having a roommate.
The holidays felt different as well. My mom's side of the family celebrates Christmas; my dad's side of the family celebrates Hanukkah; both celebrate New Year's. I definitely enjoyed receiving late Hanukkah gifts and snacks from my dad and his family, and I had a great time at the Christmas and New Year's parties.
But everyone was so much more emotional than usual; I and three of my cousins went off to college for the first time this year. In a lot of ways, it felt less carefree than it did before.
As grateful as I am to be able to be home for six weeks, I still wish I had been more prepared for the unexpected feelings I feel in addition. Although I know that what I feel is common amongst college students, I wish I didn't have to feel "weird" at all.