Home Doesn't Feel Like Home After College

Home Doesn't Feel Like Home After College

Every year, it's a little different and seems less like the home we used to know.

Every year, we make the trudge home for break. And every year, it's a little different and seems less like the home we used to know. Let's face it: we're growing up. This feeling is extremely bittersweet.

Being at home was something that once felt so comfortable, and still does... kinda. This was the house you grew up in, completed elementary in, graduated high school in, and then left behind for college. You created so many relationships under this same roof. You had awesome friendships, relationships with your family, and boyfriends/girlfriends. But each time you go home, you start to realize how each one of these relationships you had in high school, tends to change.

You find out who's worth spending your only free day with, or even hour. Going home tends to be hectic as you try to make time for every single person left behind in your hometown. Spending time with your family is automatically the first thing you have/want to do. Let's face it, its the most important. Next, your old high school friends. This includes some people who never left and some in the same boat as you returning home from college on a holiday break.

You get so stressed trying to make time for all of these people, but ask yourself one question. How many of these people text or call me regularly and check up on me? How about reaching out to you to tell you how proud you make them, or that you're killin' the college game? How many of these people do I do the same for? Is it worth spending my only free hour with them? Or stressing about what they might think if I don't sacrifice my time to see them?

I'm here to tell you to not feel bad. If anyone, including family, wants to be a part of your life, they will make the time. Anyone who loves you and cares for you will make it known. Going home shouldn't be a time of stress, but a time to relax.

Relationships back home will continue to change, and feel less like they used to, but that's OK.

Relationships with people back home are just different than the ones you have with your college friends, and that's OK. They're different because we're all in different chapters of our life. It's hard to relate to someone who never went to college and talk about things they have no idea about. It's hard to relate sometimes to their lives as their much different that ours, and that's OK.

Just because you don't get to spend time with someone from back home over break, doesn't mean you don't care. As we get older, we get busier. Adulting sucks, but having friends who understand that just because you don't reach out to them every time you're in town because your busy with family, and that you aren't "mad" at them or care/love them any less, are the ones worth keeping.

These friends are the mature ones, the ones who understand that life is one big mess, and if you called them out of the blue one day, they'd pick up. People who make you feel drained or overwhelmed when a text from them pops up on your phone, let them go. Life is too short to feel stressed over someone taking up your time.

Going home will forever be different because of these relationships. I always say, it's not the place itself, but the people. Cherish the healthy, happy relationships you have back at home, and let the ones that are anything less, go.

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The Importance And Impact Of A Call Verus A Text

Ring in the new year.

New year, new me. We say it every iteration of annual "reset", either publicly, plastered over social media for all the world to see, or under our breath, with some type of discreet, more subtle determination. As exuberant or stolid as our intentions may first be, resolutions too oft fade into goals we set aside for another week, another month, another year.

The previous year, 2017, was not an unkind one but did teach me more than I had bargained for upon the Autumn months' arrival. This knowledge, undesired yet greatly appreciated just the same, has provided for me a prospect for 2018, a hope surpassing expectation, drawing nearer to necessity.

See, change can be a good thing. The best change, as I have learned, however, comes from within.

I promise this article is not some yogi mumbo jumbo--not to say I am not a fan of such wordage--but instead a call to action... a call to... well, call. If you're like me, or pretty much anyone else with a smartphone, you're practically glued to a screen from the time you wake up until you play chicken with it, seeing if your eyes shut before its screen goes black.

Texting certainly has its advantages. I mean, there's poop emojis. How else am I going to disapprovingly provide non-verbal commentary on my friend's attempt at humor? Fecal matter with eyes aside, texting rose in popularity because of its convenience--and also for the lack of human interaction.

That being said, what I am about to say might blow your mind. I'll wait while you grab some napkins.

Ready?

Good.

Close your messenger app. Click that little button with a picture of a phone on it--google older models of phones if no familiar image is present--and give someone a call. It may seem like a hassle; it may take up a bit more of your time than a text would, but I promise it will be worth it.

A simple phone call can brighten someone's day. Is it your father's birthday? Call him. Have a friend going through a rough breakup? Call her. Do you know your grandparent is sitting all alone watching the same Bonanza rerun they've seen at least thirteen times now? You get the picture.

It's personable, it's intimate, it's PhoneCall. Still working on the copyright for that.

Really, though. For me, this year is going to focus on communications and connections, reaching out to people in my life and letting them know how important they are to me. I want to be present, but when I can't, I want to be able to say I've put in plenty of effort into an interaction.

I used to hate calling and saying goodnight. I was lazy. That's the truth whether I like it or not. Sometimes it takes a wake-up in the form of a breakup to realize the importance that simple action holds. Sure, a text with a smiley face or a heart emoji is all well and good, but nothing compares to hearing the sincerity in a partner or family member's voice.

The other great thing about talking to someone on the phone is that you receive an answer to a question immediately. Texting? Not so much. People work or have busy lives that don't revolve around the device in their pocket. They might not have time enough to respond until later. Sometimes it takes a ringing phone to recognize how time-sensitive certain communications may be.

Maybe you're already the type of person to pick up the phone and dial instead of hammering away at those tiny, fingerprint-smeared keys. I know I'm not. But I could be. And so could you.

Whether it's making your life a little easier and knowing what your roommate wants on his pizza before you reach the counter or simply making someone's day, a phone call is a valuable thing and it's about time we returned to the year 2000 and remembered that.

Maybe you're at college, hundreds of miles away from your parents. Be like E.T. and phone home.

OK, I'm out of dad jokes. Cheers and have a great 2018!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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10 Messages Sent In Your "Home Friend" Group Chat When You're All Away At College

God forbid anyone has an Android.

Going to college without your friends from home can be really tough. But, living in the digital age has made that so much easier. Here are ten things you say to your besties at other schools!

1. "Okay but that girl that you just posted with, she's not replacing us right? Like she's just temporary?"

When you see that your best friends have found new companions to laugh with and take stupid Snapchats of, obviously it sends a small plunge through your heart. But, of course, you have to be happy for them because as their friend, you still have to be supportive of the fact that they're not sulking inside their dorm room for the next four years.

2. "Wait, I need to send you guys screenshot. "

Since they're not there to witness everything in person, you need to keep them updated.

**Patiently waiting for your friends' reactions to what they think will meet your expectations for how they should respond to something that really doesn't affect them in any way whatsoever. But since they're your friends, they'll act just as outraged as you are.**

3. "I'm looking through my videos from summer and I'm crying."

This speaks for itself. When your best friends go to schools that are spread across the country (or the world if you have a friend that went abroad), the chances of visiting each other during the year are slim to none. So, you often resort to watching videos from Thanksgiving break, winter break, and summer to remind you of just how dope your friend group is.

4. "I'm in a pissy mood right now and I really need someone to call me on my walk back from class, thanks."

Yeah, I'm that girl who Facetimes her friends walking to and from class without headphones on. And yes, I have used up all of my data doing so.

5. "Wait haha did you see what ________ posted?"

What's a group chat if you're not being petty about the people you all collectively disliked back in high school? It just gets a whole lot harder when you go to college and you can no longer keep tabs on the people your friends have issues with.

6. "Anyone up?"

It's a tough time when your roommate is asleep and it's 3 AM and all you want to do is have a deep talk about life with someone. That's when you send a message in the home group chat, and since you are all in different time zones, the odds of someone responding are high. Bonus points if multiple people are awake and you all flood the group chat with early morning nonsense and thoughts from teenage insomniacs.

7. "I'm having a full-blown mental breakdown and someone needs to respond right now before I make a scene."

Sometimes when you're away at college all you need is your home friends to explain to you that you are a completely irrational human being who needs to take a chill pill. Or is that one just me?

8. "HAHA I'M DEAD."

When there's some funny sh*t going on in the group chat but your friends aren't there in person to witness just how much your actually "loling" and the "HA HA" reaction is not enough so you just have to let them know that you're deceased.

9. "I MISS YOU GUYSSSS"

This one also speaks for itself. They're your best friends, so you miss them. But you can't physically be with them because for some reason college exists and it's meant to tear apart friend groups and force them to survive as individuals from miles away, dispersed throughout the country.

10. "Countdown for when we reunite starts now"

When it's all said and done, it's probably for the better that you're going out there and gaining some independence at college. It genuinely sucks that this has to be done at the cost of only communicating with your friend group by virtual means, but that's what makes the times when you are all back home and in the same place again, that much more special.

Cover Image Credit: Maya Kowitt

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