Like many other incoming freshmen, I was terrified about starting college. I attended a very small private high school with a graduating class of around 80 girls, so I knew that coming to a big ten school, like Rutgers University, with an undergraduate class of about 3,000 kids spread across 4 campuses was going to be a huge adjustment.
Luckily, I live around forty minutes from campus, so coming into school I had planned on going home often, almost every weekend. My hesitance and fear of college quickly changed upon my arrival. The first couple days, pre-classes, are filled with different activities to get you acclimated and introduce you to new people, you're almost too busy to miss home, and that's exactly what I was.
I began slipping further and further away from my hometown, not physically, but mentally. My full focus was in New Brunswick and I loved being at school. I have always been close with my family, but I could notice myself not reaching out to them as much, or not keeping my sisters and mom as updated on my life as they wished they were. I was determined to change this over winter break, updating my family on my life at school and just generally spending more time with them.
Upon my arrival back to school, I started talking to more and more people about what it felt like to be home for a month. Personally, I prefer being at school because I love the independence that comes along with it. I have always considered myself relatively self-sufficient, and just enjoy being considered an independent person. I wasn't shocked to find out that many people are like me, and they prefer being at school, not only are they more independent, but their schedules are more jam-packed and life is just a little more exciting than being home.
I also spoke to some people that expressed judgment towards people that love being away at school. Comments about how excited people were to be back or Instagram posts about how much they missed their schools were met with "What? Do you hate your family?" or comments such as "Wow your home life must be pretty horrible if you actually prefer being here." Not only are these comments, hurtful and disrespectful, but they're also just completely wrong. Just because someone loves being at school does not mean they hate being at home.
You can have an amazing relationship with your family and still generally prefer being away at school. College gives you the option to explore your interests and find what you love. For most it is a chance to grow as a person, so frankly judging someone just because they are enjoying where they are in life is unneeded. And maybe rather than asking yourself why this person loves their school so much, you should ask yourself why you don't.