It's Good To Be Home

It's Good To Be Home

Home is where (your) heart is.
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It’s good to be home.

It’s good to sleep in my bed and be hugged by my parents and eat at my favorite restaurants.

It’s good to see old friends and pick up where we left off and talk for hours about all the adventures we’ve been on in the last four months.

But at the same time, home feels a little bit less like home. When you’ve been living on your own for months without your mom's cooking or your dad’s goodnight kiss, you start to get used to that. You’ve discovered new favorite restaurants and now you’re missing other people from your other “home”.

You miss those people because they get it. They understand all the things that you love, and they know all the things that you struggled with. They know about the night all you wanted to do was sleep in your bed at home, and they can perfectly describe the night where it finally clicked and you felt like these were the people you belonged with.

You want to be with those people, but you’re with these people. But these people get it, too. They remember your love for coffee and they still know exactly where you live and they’re excited to see your parents and drive your streets with you.

It’s this weird feeling. It mixes everything you’ve learned with everything you knew. It’s telling stories about people they’ve never met to people who want to hear all about your experiences and your friends and your memories.

Honestly, coming home is exhausting. Even though it feels like you’re home forever, there still aren’t enough days to spend adequate time with all of the people you love. It’s fitting in as many coffee dates and dinner plans and watching your brother’s basketball games and spending time with your parents after they get home from work. All this while still talking to your new people and making sure that those friendships stay solid so that you have something to come back to in a few weeks.

It’s overwhelming, all these people. But it is also so, so refreshing. You don’t realize how much you missed driving around with your best friend until you’re driving around listening to your old favorite songs and showing each other new ones. You didn’t realize how much you miss laughing with your whole group of high school people until one night you end up sitting on someone’s kitchen floor, retelling story after story. Your dad’s hug feels different because you haven’t felt it in months. It’s a different kind of laughter, and it fills your heart in a different way. Whether you had the best or the worst semester, you can’t hide that it feels good to be home, even if the word home is now a confusing term that throws together a bunch of people who just love you a lot, both here where your family lives as well as back at school.

I always found the phrase “home is where the heart is” to be annoying. I always thought of home as a permanent place. I live here. I lived there. So obviously, home is where my heart is. But living far from home has stretched my heart across different states and streets and houses and campuses. Spending weeks in the room that you grew up in after months of sleeping in a lofted bed with a roommate you only recently met shatters that image. Home is not a place. Home is just simply setting up shop with some people who love you, who you love, who annoy you, and who you’re excited to come back to.

So when I’m at school, that is home, even though I am excited to come back here. And when I am here, my real “home” I guess, I am happy to be home and excited to fly back home.

College is teaching me all sorts of lessons about home and people and myself and on and on and on. But for now, it is good to be home, as ready as I am to go home. It’s a foggy description of being present where I am, but always knowing there is somewhere else I love to be. My home is growing larger and larger, my heart is stretching far, and I’m thankful to be happy here as well as excited to go back.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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