Last year, as a senior in high school, I remember watching the college freshman who graduated from my high school the year before return home weekend after weekend. I found this phenomenon rather annoying.
I would internally wonder "aren't you happy to have moved on?" and "why would you ever want to come back after gaining all of that freedom?"
Now that I am the college freshman, my perspective on the topic has changed.
In high school, I could not wait to graduate. I looked forward to the freedom, the challenge, and the independence that comes with college. I wanted to move far away from my small town and experience life outside of it.
If I am being brutally honest, I thought anyone who wanted to do otherwise was crazy and kind of pathetic.
Now, I realize that this was close-minded on my part. The fact is that everyone grows up differently and at different rates. Some people need a year to transition from high school to college; some people don't.
Some people want to move out of state; some people don't. Some people want to stay in touch with friends from high school; some people don't. Some people go to college; some people don't.
There is no right or wrong answer! I grew up thinking that I would go to a university in New York City and cut off all connections with people from my home town (with the exception of my lovely family).
Now that I am actually in college, I realize how silly it is to place such high and specific expectations on yourself years in advance.
I am currently attending Missouri State University which is three and a half hours away from my hometown. I am rooming with one of my friends from high school and frequently spend time with other high school friends at MSU.
I went home for Labor Day weekend even though it was two weeks after move-in day. And the last thing is probably the most important thing: I am perfectly content!
While I am not going to be the person that goes home every single weekend, seeing my family and other people from home is refreshing and encouraging!
I don't think returning home is always a sign of homesickness or weakness; I think sometimes it is just what people need to rejuvenate themselves.
My two worlds have collided: the world of past expectations and the world of reality. I have stopped justifying why or why I haven't done certain things at this point in my life.
I have learned to find happiness in things that I had not previously set my mind on liking. I learned to be myself without fearing judgment from anyone else- including past high school me.
If you are in the same boat I was in a year ago and are struggling to make peace with how your life is going, stop it! Seriously... just focus on what makes you happy and work on how you can improve on where you are now. Let yourself live! You won't regret it.