Yes, I Go Home More Than Most College Students, Stop Making Me Feel Bad About It

Yes, I Go Home More Than Most College Students, Stop Making Me Feel Bad About It

Those four hours in my car driving back home are so therapeutic.

I go home more often than most of my friends at college. I know this. I make the four and a half hour trip back to my tiny hometown from school usually around once a month, whether we have a break from school or not.

Sometimes, if there's a reason I need to be home for something, I go more often than that. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm from the middle of nowhere, I'm used to driving for a long time to get to pretty much anywhere I want/need to go.

I really enjoy being at home, just like I really enjoy being at school, so why do I feel bad about being in my hometown every time I'm there and it isn't a break from school? Why do I feel embarrassed about telling my classmates that I'm going home, feel like I need to justify it to them? I shouldn't have to do this, but I do because other people make me feel weird about how often I go home.

I get comments like "oh, you're going to be gone again?" and, "Hey, weren't you just here?" or, my personal favorite, "Don't you have work you need to be doing? How do you have time to come/go?"

You can see why this might be annoying, even if people mean well. Let me tell you why I go home so often.

There are several reasons, but one of the biggest is that most of my family lives in my hometown. I don't just mean my mom, dad, and sister, I mean my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, all of those people — and we're one of those families that's really close. I'm not going to not go see them regularly.

Another reason I go so often is because that's when I get to see my boyfriend of three-and-a-half years, who goes to college five hours away from my school. I also go because I like being home for big events, like the high school's big spring musical, which I used to be a part of, or the giant fall festival. I don't want to miss out on the things I loved about home just because I don't regularly live there.

But I think one of the biggest reasons I go home is actually because of UVA culture.

I love UVA. I love the people, the history, the tradition, the classes — everything. But it's a lot. The culture there is that you need to be perfect and you need to do effortlessly, even if you're actually dying inside. No one at UVA wears pajamas to class; everyone gets dressed and dresses up, even on casual days. Everyone came from the top of their high school graduating classes; four of the eight girls I live with were the valedictorian at their high schools and I have no doubt that that's pretty close to representative of the actual stats of who's on Grounds.

Everyone is smart. The classes are hard. You work hard, then you play hard, and you never let anyone see it if you can't keep up with that.

And, to be honest, sometimes I just need to get away from that.

Those four hours in my car driving back home are so therapeutic. They help me shake all of that off. There are times when I can almost physically feel a weight come off of my shoulders during those car rides by myself with the music blasting.

Then I get to my house where my mom is waiting to take care of me because she missed me and my dogs are jumping and barking because they missed me. Everything is just like it used to be, but different because I'm different, and I love that.

I come home a lot because sometimes the pressure of UVA culture is too much for me and I just really need to be away from it and be somewhere I'm not expected to be anything but myself for a little while.

So yes, I am going home again, classmate. Yes, person from home, I am back and, you know what, you're right — I do have work to do.

But let me worry about that. I can do work at home or work ahead before I come. I'm just happy to have somewhere I love so much to come back to.

Cover Image Credit: Michelle Tiller Photography

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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.

High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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I Expected It To Have It All Together By 22 And I'm Still Far From That

What we expected and what reality actually is, are two completely different things...


Oh our 20s, how we expected them to be so different. We expected to graduate college at 22, have a career by 23, be engaged by 24, married with a house by 25, kids by 26-28, vacationing with the family by 30, and retired by 60. We expected college to be parties and cute boys/girls. Instead, we got late nights of studying and crying after a job that barely pays for our car, food, dorm, and textbooks. We get no social life and if we do our grades suffer for it.

Our 20s were expected to be all fun but all we got were struggles and stress. I mean I don't know about you but I expected, to have it all together and I'm nearly 23 and far from it. I had all the scholarships and great grades, and I still don't have any type of degree.

Reality hits after 18. Most of us don't have the help of mom and dad anymore. We have to find our way and make a path for ourselves. Sometimes our dreams and goals have to be put on hold for that. The 20s isn't fun. It's about discovering who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go. Some of us serve our country, some become incarcerated, some of us parents, some teachers, others cops, others travel or study abroad, some dead, some ill, other managers, others homeless, some still living home, and some even addicts.

The weird thing about your 20s is everyone is doing something different, but yet everyone is confused and comparing themselves to others. People feel if they're not doing what others are doing, in their age group then they have failed themselves. What people forget is that with life comes obstacles and sacrifice and everyone's life and situations are different. You are where you need to be right now, for you, and I think that's something to remember in your 20s.

Another thing about your 20's is you're free to think for yourself now. No more having to follow a religion you dislike or hold back from things you love. The world is literally yours to discover and learn from. Possibilities are endless! I think your 20's are the years you create yourself to the best version of you and build the foundation for your future. Just remember, we all build at our own pace.


The lost 22-year old that believes in you

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