When I was 10 years old, I dreamed of being like Hannah Montana. She would sing to us at the beginning of every episode about how she had “the best of both worlds.” I didn’t doubt her; she was a normal teenager, but also an international pop sensation. She lived a mixed-up life of normality and abnormality. Who wouldn’t want that? Now at 18 years old, I can finally say that my dream has come true. Well, sort of.
Sadly, I am not (yet) an international pop sensation, but just like Hannah I have the best of both worlds: one world at home and another world at college.
At home, I'm a normal teenage girl, living in a small town with my family, accustomed to the people around me and hanging out with friends I’ve known my whole life. It’s comfortable, predictable and everything you’d want home to feel like. Being that girl in that world, I was missing the other world filled with strangers, excitement and ambiguity.
But, college gave me that other world. Here, at college, I’m an independent woman working to achieve my dreams in an unfamiliar city alongside strangers that I now call friends. I’m not one person at home and a completely different one at college -- my two worlds bring out certain sides of me and offer different sentiments. My home brings out my childish and quirky side, while college brings out my ambitious and creative side. My home offers familiarity and warmth, while college offers spontaneity and potential.
Every college student feels the effects of their “other” world, whether it is having a roommate, or living in a new city, or sitting in a 500-person lecture, or not recognizing a single face walking to coffee in the morning, or even having to do your own laundry or make your own meals.
College is a world, unlike home. It is a world that forces you to grow and adjust. It is a world that is important to live in. College will never compare to home and home will never compare to college. It is so easy to compare the two, but it is difficult to have them mix. Mine are just beginning to, as my hometown friends get to know my college friends, as my family meets my college support system, and as my small-town values begin to take on the big city ideas. Just like Hannah Montana, eventually removes her wig (spoiler alert.) I guess I’m removing mine too, allowing my two worlds to collide.
Hannah brings us more legendary lyrics of truth when she sings,“Mix it all together and you know you’ve got the best of both worlds.” I couldn’t have said it, or sung it, better myself.
Thank you, Hannah Montana, for encouraging me to find the best of both worlds, mix up those worlds and remove my (figurative) wig. The 10-year-old fangirl inside me is squealing because I can finally say that I feel like Hannah Montana. Who knew I’d be able to identify with my childhood idol in adulthood?