Going Home For The First Time After Leaving For Your Freshman Year Of College

Going Home For The First Time After Leaving For Your Freshman Year Of College

So, when can I see my dog again?
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College is a time for a fresh start and lots of fun, but everybody gets a little homesick, especially if you're more than a 15-minute drive away like me.

I recently got to go home for the first time after 2 months and see everything that I've left behind. After months of adjusting to new places and faces, going back to what used to be your "normal" and "old life" can seem almost foreign.

Although not much has changed on the outside, your hometown isn't where you live anymore. It's almost like you're on the outside looking in--you've changed since you've been to school, but everything at home seems the same. How strange is it to have to pack a bag full of things to go to your house?

Everything seemed almost natural and easier when you lived at home, whether it was school or just knowing what you were doing. Don't you miss the days where you could actually go to bed before midnight?!

It almost seems like your bed in your dorm is more comfortable than the one in your room now, but it's nice finally remembering what your house smelled like and having a home cook meal for once--a break from dining hall food is a necessity for all college students. Not to mention your parents are more inclined to buy you things "for your dorm" and who can say no to not spending money?!

Time at home gives you time to really reflect on what's been going on around you for the past months, and you can see all of the things that you've taken for granted. The comfort and accessibility of things you don't always have anymore.

Seeing your high school friends for the first time in months is one of the best feelings--it's so nice to have a break from all of the small talk that many college conversations consist of and skip right to catching up.

Remember the night before you left and all of the endless hugs and tears between your childhood friends? Well, saying goodbye never gets easier.

Although you will learn to value your college friendships, the people who have seen you grow and have changed alongside you are no longer a five-minute drive away. However, the reunion with your dog is the most anticipated--seriously, how are you supposed to go an entire school year without unlimited cuddles?!

Even though I don't live there full-time or roam the streets with my friends, the place where I grew up is irreplaceable and will forever hold a special place in my heart. Every road, lake, park, and the street has a special memory that affected the person who I've become today.

Although it's fun to be away and experience new things, it is nice to take a break and become reacquainted with the familiarity.

After all, there's no place like home.

Cover Image Credit: Abby Amundson

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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