Your first steps on campus are such a remarkable feeling. You are officially a college student. You feel the flooding of emotions, from excitement to insecurities. I remember asking myself, what am I doing here at a giant school like LSU? Will I ever feel confident enough to walk around without a GPS? I was also thrilled about the future. I'm on my own, there's no dress code, how bad could this be? It is a completely fresh start, and there are no security blankets.
You are basically living on your own for the first time, dealing with the most freedom you've ever had, and starting a completely new phase in life. All these feelings at one time can feel pretty overwhelming. Now I can look back at my freshman year and laugh, after finding my place. Freshman year is a time of meeting new people, getting comfortable, and dealing with new emotions you haven't had before. The strangest feeling I encountered was learning to have two homes.
I define home as a place where you feel most comfortable, whether that is because of friends and family, certain foods, or a literal place. Home is what (or where) makes you happiest. It is where you can truly relax and be yourself with the support of those around you.
The two-home feeling slowly kicks in throughout your first year of college. First semester, you are enjoying the different places and people, just taking in the new places around you. But on the other hand, it is pretty hard. At the slightest inconvenience, you may feel like your world is falling apart. Your parents aren't there to comfort you, your lifelong friends aren't there to understand what you're going through, and you just miss being home. You are excited about the future, but still want pieces from your past. It is what you're used to. You feel independent, but you still get lonely.
Coming back to campus after a month-long Christmas break, you become a lot more grateful for being away from home. You begin to enjoy your dorm set up, you get closer to your friends at college, and you start to find your place on campus. Before you know it, the end of the year has come and it's time to move back home for the summer. Then that same feeling you faced in August comes back.
You realize that your "home" is different, and you might be more confident about your college life.
Now you are faced with the feeling of having two homes. When you are at school, a part of you misses home. When you are at home, a part of you misses being on campus. It is almost the feeling of being incomplete. You want to share experiences with both, like your family coming to visit one weekend or your friends visiting your hometown during a holiday break.
This may sound bleak, but when you think about it, what a wonderful problem to have. How lucky are you to have not one, but two places that make you feel overwhelmingly happy? Two places where you can be yourself without fearing any judgment. You have two homes where you can comfortably be yourself surrounded by people that love and support you.