Your Hometown Is No Longer Home

Your Hometown Is No Longer Home

How college involves having two homes instead of one.
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Finals are done, your car is packed, and you're already on route back to your hometown for the summer. They tell you all the great things about coming home: not having to worry about waking up for class, free food since you live with your parents, and seeing all your friends from high school. What they always forget to mention is when home doesn't quite feel like home anymore.

Coming back from your first year away at college is amazing. It's like taking a vacation from all the stress you thought you had from school and work. It's getting a chance to see everyone from high school and relive all your favorite traditions with them; however, if you're similar to me, you've been away at college for a few years now. You've created a new lifestyle for yourself and you've also made a new friend group. It's not that you don't love coming home to see your family and friends, it's that when you do, nothing is the same.

You drive around town and see your old stomping grounds where you cheered on your high school football team on Friday nights and remember all the places you used to hangout on Saturday nights. It's all these amazing memories that now seem out of reach. It's difficult being back. You want to remember your town the way you left it, not the way it is when you return.

You'll have your parents nag you for not hanging out with your old friends and while you want to and will, things are just different. You've all become different people. You've moved away, tasted freedom, and found out the type of people you want to be. Your whole world has changed within the blink of an eye and sometimes it's hard to accept.

While coming back home is comforting, it's also discouraging. You no longer see familiar faces riding around town and some of your old hangout spots have closed up shop. There is always new buildings and restaurants popping up and you wonder if this is how home will feel from now on.

You still love dropping by to see your family but you'll realize they're lives move on even when you're not around. You'll probably feel like an outcast sometimes at family gatherings as you can't keep up with everyone's lives anymore. You've missed out on big milestones and are no longer informed about decisions your family has made.

You'll always love coming back to your hometown. You'll find yourself riding around the back roads with the windows down enjoying the nostalgia you're feeling, but you'll miss your new home. While your home town has that special place in your heart, you've also created space for where you are now. Your life and the world around you is constantly changing, and now is when you'll start to experience it.

This is okay. At this point in your life you're allowed to have two places to call home. That college town of yours is home for right now, but your hometown will always be a place you can run to. You can now let go of your childhood, and embrace the life you've created along the way.

Cover Image Credit: Joelle Giudice

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If These 8 Ann Arbor Coffee Shops Were 8 Typical UMich Students

The real guide to deciphering coffee shops surrounding the University of Michigan.
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College towns run on coffee. I think UMich students will agree that Ann Arbor is a town blessed with an abundant access to caffeine at almost any hour of the day.

You can't really go wrong with your source of joe, but you definitely will have a different experience wherever you go. Between the eccentric slew of small business coffee shops or the classic Starbucks or Sweetwater, one might say each has its own unique personality.

Well, if you're looking to get a glimpse of the kind of person each coffee shop would be before venturing into uncharted java territory, look no further.

1. Espresso Royale

The hipster kid: they brought their Crosley record player with them to college, takes class notes in a Moleskine journal, probably a SAC or English major.

2. The Roasting Plant

The engineering student: always has a study group, has their sh*t together, will probably be your boss one day.

3. The Lab Cafe

The student from the city: always smells clean, studying abroad in Europe “changed their lives,” very into the monochrome look, plans out their Instagram flow.

4. RoosRoast

Not a theatre student just really appreciates the arts: has probably died their hair either purple or red in the last two months, lives in Kerry Town, Gluten is NOT the enemy.

5. Starbucks

The Poli-Sci major: always has the last word in class discussion, has a Good Vibes sticker on their computer, LOVES Christmas music, uses Snapchat filters unironically.

6. ~Ross~ Starbucks

The student in Greek life: either in Ross or majoring in Communications with a Ross minor, big partier, charges their Juul in class in their laptop USB plug.

7. Comet Coffee

The STAMPS student: sells their needlepoint on Etsy, has kept their pet goldfish alive since September, does a lot of hot yoga, cares about the environment.

8. Bearclaw Coffee Co

The student who’s from Ann Arbor: owns a lot of funny slogan t-shirts, has their car on campus and will definitely drive you to Trader Joe's.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Why Missouri State Will Always Be My Second Home

Uphold tradition, our school we hold so dear
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If you ask anyone at Missouri State, there is this undeniable feeling of home.

It's like trying to explain a mythical creature to someone, you have to see it to believe it. And in this case, you just need to step onto campus to notice the feel of magic. And to people on the outside that think you are clinically insane for trying to explain a college campus like that, they just don't get it.

One of the first things that you are going to notice is how friendly everyone is. Coming to campus I was astounded at the number of people that would hold the door open for me. Sure, it's not really a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but to me, it was a huge gesture. People were clearly going out of their way to execute the task, like to the point where you're awkwardly half running half walking to get to the door that another person is propping open.

The campus is truly gorgeous. Like, if you haven't taken a picture of the fountain with a possible sunset in the background, do you even go to Missouri State. It's not like you go to a campus purely based on looks, but it factors in, right? But there is a character to campus and the people on it add so much vibrancy.

I have seen kindness that extends further than I ever thought was possible on a college campus. There are no lines drawn that separate people in any sense, and that is such a desirable thing about Missouri State. Missouri State is inclusive and I can proudly say that.

The Bearline drivers are bound to make your day. It always feels good to step on a Bearline and see a smiling face sitting in the driver's seat. You can't help but smile, even if you having one crappy day. These people are literally driving buses around all day to make sure that students are making it on time to classes and stay out of the cold and rain, they deserve a medal or something.

So all in all, describing why you love Missouri State is no easy task to do. You just want to bring whoever asks you about to campus and let them experience the magic that is Missouri State. When it comes time to not walk the Campus of Missouri State will be an emotional day because it becomes your second home, your home away from home.

Bear Up,

A future Missouri State alumni

Cover Image Credit: Alexa DeClue

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