Most of us cannot wait to go to college for one major reason: independence. We cannot wait to leave our parents' household. We embark on a new chapter of our life that leaves us on our own for the first time. We make our own decisions, no one tells us what to do, we begin to form our own thoughts, ideas and opinions.
What we do not realize is that the decisions you make and the person you develop into is shaped by your family. Through the simple and difficult choices you make, you may think to yourself, “ what would my mom/dad/sibling do?” You can’t help but hear your parents' voices in your head when forming your own opinions on important issues. We may not even notice this right away. It takes growing through our independent years of college to realize how influential our family truly is.
I chose my college for many reasons, one of them being it was an easy two-hour drive from my hometown. I tried to avoid going home my freshman year in order to force myself to acclimate to college life and make the most of my first college year. Now, as an upcoming senior, I wish I had the chance to drive home whenever I wanted. For the rest of my college career I would never be able to easily drive home. The summer after my first year of school at Butler University, my parents and younger sister moved across the United States to New York.
So, I ask you, whether you live close or far from your family, do you take the ability to see your family for granted?
I know I did.
I took for granted having the freedom to go spend time with my family when I wanted. If I was ever desperate for a break from school or just wanted to see them, I could simply drive home. Now, I cannot drive home for a day or weekend. My parents have to plan months in advance if they want to visit me or have me go home to visit them. In the next six months, I will go home once, for Christmas. However, I finally understand that this is not necessarily a bad thing. I have learned how important my family sincerely is to me. I know how special the time I do have with them is. The goodbyes are more meaningful, and I have learned to always tell them how thankful I am for them. If anything, moving away from my family has taught me all of this, which I would have never experienced if I was still living close to home.
I know that moving away is all part of growing up and creating my own life. However, I will never become complacent with being far from my family.
I simply will never get used to living hundreds of miles from my fun-loving family. I will always wish I could see them more than I do. No matter where I end up when I graduate, or how old I become, I will always remember how important and great it was to live close to my family.