5 Things You'll Miss When You Are Living Away From Home For The First Time
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5 Things You'll Miss When You Are Living Away From Home For The First Time

These are the things you'll miss the most after being away from home for the first time.

5 Things You'll Miss When You Are Living Away From Home For The First Time

Most people starting their young adult lives encounter the challenge of living away from home at one point or another. For me, and many other teens around the country and globe, it came in the form of starting college. Whether you are going to school 30 minutes away from where you grew up, or taking a 6-hour flight across the country, the harsh reality of moving out hits everyone the same way. Of course, I have had my share of experiences living away from home before—my seven summers at sleepaway camp, teen tour through Europe, and experience working abroad for a month can attest to that. But when I came to college I experienced something entirely different. I have tried to narrow down the mixed mess of emotions I have been feeling into a list of the top five things you’ll miss the most when you leave home for the first time.

1. Your daily diet

While I get the luxury of living in a city that has hundreds of places to go to for food, many people who go to smaller schools in “college towns” or less urban areas have a more limited variety. Even so, the many options soon become overwhelming and consistently boring that I can never seem to know where I want to go for food or what I am in the mood for. Similarly, at a smaller school, the glorifying dozens of tasty options at the dining hall soon become regular and seem tiresome as you continue to adapt to your college life. No matter how many small unique coffee shops, or “hole in the wall” sandwich places you find, you will never be able to replace the cravings you get from your favorite deli or dinner from home. You are forced to take on the difficult search that seeks out a healthy option for dinner instead of the nutritious home-cooked meal that was waiting for you every night of your childhood. Along with the meal, you also lose the consistency of having a set group of people to sit down with every night at 6:40 or so to eat dinner with. People’s schedules do not always line up in college and you have to go out of your way to make plans with people if you don’t want to eat alone. You may find yourself so busy that you end up eating a lot of your meals solo or on the go, and that’s okay, college is about finding your independence. But the feeling of a traditional dinner in is one that is hard to find.

2. Living in a house

Not everyone necessarily lives in a house before college, but most people have at least an apartment or place that is your space with your family to designate as home. It is a strange concept to go from living in a house to living in a place where you have everything you own jumbled up on one side of a room. I miss having space to do what I want. I am personally someone who doesn’t like to mix business and pleasure, which means I don’t like to do my homework where I sleep. At home, I enjoyed doing my homework in the kitchen or in the family room. I had different spaces for different purposes. And while going to the library at school is an easy fix to this problem, it’s definitely not as easy to schlep from the library to your dorm room at one in the morning when it’s cold and dark out, than to just make the trek from your kitchen to your room upstairs.

3. Your alone time

It wasn’t until I was living in a dorm with one hundred other teenagers that I realized how nice it is to live in a house. I miss my big comfortable bed and my own room. While living in a dorm is loads of fun and you never have to feel lonely with everyone hopping in between rooms, lounging on each other’s beds and getting ready together for game days, you WILL miss your alone time. Growing up in the suburbs I was not used to the concept of “white noise”. It wasn’t until this year that I noticed it can be tough to get a good night of sleep or do homework with the constant blare of rap music through the walls, and the cheers and chants from state street that echo up from below my window almost every night. It can be hard to find that time to just watch Netflix and chill or lay in your bed and think when you live with three other people who are on completely different schedules from one another. Sometimes it does feel sad or scary to be alone at times, but there will be times when all you wish for is a place that is just yours.

4. The constant Monday through Friday “work week”

In high school, most people were on the same schedule. Everyone would go to school Monday through Friday. You would show up to school and see all of your friends, eat lunch, go home or to your extra circular activities, do your homework and then go to bed (give or take). At college, you may not know the people in your classes, your friends may not be free for lunch when you are, and your precious school week bubble will be destroyed. You may find that you don’t even have class every day and that the days of the week are now pretty much irrelevant to you. People go out every night of the week depending on who they are, and it is safe to say there is always something going on. You may have to do your homework during the large blocks of time you have in between your classes. Your clubs, sports, and extra circular activities may not fall into the neat grid of acceptable times before 9 p.m. that you had in high school. Your meetings and commitments may overlap or conflict and it will be your job to organize your mess of a life that has been jumbled up by the third week of school. It may take some time to get down, but everyone will eventually create their own personal routine and schedule that works for them.

5. Your family

Especially if you go to a school that is far from home you are likely to experience homesickness. No matter how much fun you may be having at school or how happy you claim to be, missing home and your loved ones is inevitable. Not only was it hard to adjust from having my mom do and help me with just about everything to me handling all of my own appointments, but also I miss just being in the presence of people who know me the best. I miss being alone in my room but knowing my sister was just down the hall from me. I miss running into my brother when I came down to get a late night snack. I miss walking into the family room and watching a few seconds of the basketball game my dad had on. I probably miss cuddling and petting my dog the most. I miss that smell, warmth, and sense of togetherness when everyone is home for dinner. This feeling is one that will never go away, but it will be one that you grow to appreciate instead of feel sad about.

Living away from home for the first time is scary. When you are having what seems to be a good day and even the smallest thing goes wrong you can’t help but feel guilty and quickly think back to how much easier your life was at home. It can be easy to feel nostalgic or down, but college is exciting and full of new experiences. Problems will arise and you may miss your old life, but that is the beauty of it. It’s your first time living away from home, and after that, the hardest part is over; you’ve ripped off the Band-Aid and are now capable of being independent. Living at home is great, but it will always be there, wherever it may be, to return to.

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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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