For many of us college students or young adults, moving away from your hometown is a huge milestone. It involves planning and persistence to get the nerve to actually do it. A huge accomplishment for so many of us.
And although we have settled into our new dorms or apartments, have made new, amazing friends, there is this somber feeling we’ll have to endure every day.
Every year I go home for the vacations. My hometown is 500 miles away in the Sun City. It is there, I leave behind my family, friends, and boyfriend for several months out of the year.
As vacations roll around, I get eager because right after finals, all my sorority events, and/or graduations have been completed, I pack up my bag and head home. Whether it is by plane or an 8 hour car ride, I get there.
And just like many of us that go home for the holidays and vacations, I fall into my hometown routine. Meeting up with my closest high school friends for billiards, line dancing, or to plan a road-trip; seeing my boyfriend and finally getting to spend time together in person; enjoying time with my parents either by binge watching TV shows or going out to eat.
It is my comfort zone. I’ve known these people for a huge portion of my life. They have become a part of my identity and played a huge role of who I am today and who I continue to be.
There is something about being back “home” that makes me so much more relaxed. I get just a little bit lazy, I find myself going out more, laughing a little harder, and making the most out of the littlest of things.
I texted my best friend since high school. Well, technically she texted me first. And as we texted about how new events are popping up back home, I realized just how important a friendship like that is. Many of us will lose friends when we move away. It isn’t in any way a bad thing, it just happens because life happens. But I found myself missing her company and I realized how many times this week I was about to text her or my boyfriend to see if they wanted to make plans.
Then the pain settled in as it always does. It is this slight pang of realization that I won’t get to see them (among others) till November and that is if I get time off from work. Same for December. It is disheartening and it makes me seriously contemplate moving back home.
I hate to break it to those who just moved, but it never necessarily gets easier. You just get used to it. And honestly, it makes the times I finally get to go back home more special. I truly believe the moment it stops hurting is the moment when a piece of my identity has been permanently changed. Whether that is a good thing or bad thing is left to be determined to my future self.
Living in San Antonio, I have made a handful of amazing friendships. Friendships that would leave the same impact on me as my loved ones back home have. And I am forever grateful, do not get me wrong. Moving away was one of the best decisions of my life because I forced myself to become this independent being. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, just as many of those who move away have. And even with this pain I get in my heart every time I close the door to my car and see that “Now Leaving the Sun City” sign, or I when look out the airplane window and seeing that shining star on the side of the mountain, I do not regret moving. Living away from home will never be an easy thing.
But then again, life was never meant to be easy.