Going to school out of state has made me learn some things about myself and those who I hold near and dear, my family. These lessons have held true for me throughout my second year and I know they hold true for many of you out there.
Any time off needs to be dedicated to family.
Living in a different state from your family means that you get the chance to see them maybe 3 times a year if work and school allows. This means that an opportunity you get to take a break from adulting needs to be used as family time. This has been a hard realization that I have had to come to as, like most twenty-year-olds, I want to spend my breaks having fun and enjoying my free time.
I've grown in understanding that having fun doesn't always mean partying and free time can be enjoyed just easily back home with your family. With family time being so limited, I've come to cherish the small amount of time I have at home much more. I think it can be hard to remember that as you grow older, holding onto the small moments you get with family is so much more important. Sacrificing a party, or a concert, or a night out with friends is important in order to have quality time with those who matter most. This is a lesson that many young adults need to learn and remember.
You're still their little girl, even if you're all grown up.
Even though I'm approaching full-blown adulthood, I've come to realize my parents will always view me as their little girl making up little dances in the living room. When I had the discussion with my mom about moving away more permanently, she told me it wasn't the right time even though I had already been away at school for a year and was given the option of a full-time job down at school.
It became clear that although it was the right time for me, I may not have been for my parents. They were still coming to terms that I was on my own, working and going to school, and beginning my own life as a woman. My mom still calls me every day to see how I'm doing, just as she would talk to me on our way home from school. My dad still takes me out to football games or little lunch dates just like we used to do when I was younger. Although you may be growing up and loving it, just remember, there are some people in your life that may not be ready for you to be quite so grown-up.
"Distance can make the heart grow fonder" has never been a truer statement.
Let's face it, living in a house with your parents for nineteen years will make anyone yearn for freedom. But going away and getting that freedom makes you realize how much you really really need your mom sometimes. We fought growing up, nothing ever bad. Just mostly, "Clean your room!" "Do your homework!", you know the basics. Because it seemed like we were fighting so much towards the end of my senior year of high school I was itching to get away more than ever. When I came to school, however, I missed my mom so much.
I missed her always making me a snack after school, or folding my clothes all nice, or even just making me a cup of tea when she could tell I was stressed. Going away also made me appreciate all of the amazing qualities my mother has, some of which I never even put much stock into before. So I begrudgingly say, yes it is true, I love and miss my mom and distance does indeed make the heart grow fonder.
You're only a phone call away
Let's face it, we're human. We all have flaws. Even the most rebellious of us get homesick. But don't worry, you're never farther away than a phone call. This little trick has become a near godsend to me (coming from someone who rarely even answered her mom's calls in high school).
Anytime I'm having a bad day, or I am stressed, or even if I just have a little free time I'll always give my mom and dad a ring. Having conversations, even if they are menial, are so important when you don't get to see your family every day.
Home is where the Heart is.
By now we've realized that even if we don't want to, sooner or later we have to take flight. It's hard leaving your childhood home for the first time because everything else feels out of place. But please keep in mind that even if you're not in your "home" anymore, any place with your family and the love that's always been there will feel just like home. Whether the home is physical or metaphorical, as long as you're together you're back where you belong.