There is something distinctly unique about living away from the place you grew up during college. Whether it’s less than an hour away or several states from home, you develop a sort of split life. As a freshman who decided to attend a school about eight hours from my small town I have come to understand just how amazing and hard that can be.
I have only known my friends from college since September, but in those few short months before Christmas break they have developed into family. Sisters who share clothes and makeup and lend a shoulder to cry on when times get tough. Brothers who get on my nerves, tease me, and would do just about anything if I asked for help. They are the people I rely on and I love them with my whole heart. Leaving my best friends from home was difficult, but I have come to realize that both sets of people play distinctly beautiful roles in my life. Over winter break I was reminded of just how kind, funny, and supportive my best friends from home will always be. Despite being a state away they still welcome me home with open arms and constant invitations to go get Chick-fil-a. I am unbelievably blessed to have them both in my life. The rough part is that means I will always have a group of people to miss whether I’m in school or back at home.
My 2x2 cube of a dorm room is nothing compared to the beautiful house my parents made for me in Ohio, but sometimes when sleeping in my big bed I day dream about my tiny, lofted twin with it endless amount of decorative throw pillows. Sometimes I miss be awoken by the sound of my roommate yelling “Yes, Laser tag!” in her sleep. Other times, while showering in flip flops I want nothing more than a simple bubble bath and some normal water pressure. There is beauty in both. One is loud and bustling, but contains freedom and livelihood that has helped me grow more as a person than I ever thought, and the other is quiet and calm with the weight of eighteen years of history and love.
Unfortunately, there is one thing that can’t be replaced while I’m at school and that’s my real family. Not being able to go grab dinner with my dad, or take a Saturday shopping trip with my Mom breaks my heart some days, and not having my sister and brothers to lean on can take a toll on me. At school, I am forced to be independent, make my own choices, my own mistakes, and my own accomplishments. That freedom can be extremely fun, but it can also be extremely scary. I’ll never quite get used to the fact that my Mom can’t be there to make me soup when I feel under the weather, but dealing with that, and any other issues that comes my way, on my own has made me stronger.
At college, I ask my friends when they’ll be home, referring to our dorm, and call my Mom and talk about how much I can’t wait to be home to see her, but which one is home. I would argue that they both are my homes. To me a home isn’t just an address you type into the shipping document on Amazon, it’s a place where there are people surrounding you with love and that would include North Canton and Drexel University and for that I am blessed.