Just over two years ago, I was counting down the days until freshman move-in. I spent the better part of my senior year of high school creating a mental list of all the reasons I couldn't wait to be on my own — the ability to stay out late, have friends over, and just live on my own schedule. Growing up, my parents weren't "strict," but they kept a close eye on my siblings and I. And after 18 years, I was ready for the change.
Or so I thought. Move-in came and passed, and I found myself living the "dream" that I'd spent months and months creating. I found the freedom to set my own schedule, and as long as that schedule didn't interfere with my classes, life seemed great. Until it hit me — even though dorm life wasn't totally independent, it was an experience that I wasn't really ready for.
As the first semester passed, I began to realize just how much I'd been taking for granted living at home. No matter when I got home in high school, my mom always had fresh dinner waiting and breakfast in the mornings. There were no dining halls, no meal swipes to run out of, and no coin operated laundry. Everything was always available. If I stayed out too late, my mom was always awake waiting for me to get back. I always had a caring and comfortable place to come home to at night. Which is something I never quite felt on my own.
I tried to stay away from home as long as I could that semester. I stayed through all the breaks and weekends in an attempt to prolong that dream for as long as I could. I found my routine in the dorms, and when winter break finally rolled around, I was hesitant to give up my newfound freedom and come back home. I was the last one out of the dorms and the first one back.
Even though I was only home for 10 days that break, I gained a new appreciation for being at home. For those 10 days, it was life as "usual". I always had someone to talk to, someone to be with, and somewhere to be. I was back at home, a place where I felt genuinely welcome. After four months "down range," that's a great feeling. These weren't crazy friends, they were family.
Moving back home was one of the hardest things I've ever done. My entire life changed in a few weeks. I left my "freshman school" and began life in the working world. For those of you about to make a similar transition, no amount of preparation will be enough to prepare you for the jump. School in any capacity does not prepare you well for a full-time job. It was incredibly hard, and there's no way I could have done it alone. I'll always be grateful that through the best and worst, I've had a place to truly call home. A place where I am truly comfortable, a place where the people I am around are true family.
- 28 Realities Of Living At Home In Your Twenties ›
- It's Okay If You're 18 And Still Living At Home ›
- Living At Home After College ›
- 12 Pros And Cons About Living At Home Into Your 20s ›
- Why I Miss Living At Home ›