As we approach the end of our first semester of college, my friends and I have come to the surprisingly devastating realization that we are about to spend three whole weeks apart. We met only four months ago and yet now we can hardly picture our lives without each other. I am so grateful to have been surrounded by such amazing people since I've gotten to college. However, there is a twist.
Friendships built in college are like no other. We see each other everyday. We eat together. We study together. Basically anytime we aren't in class, we are together. Within weeks I have learned more about these people and shared more with these people than I have with even some of my closest friends from high school. These people that, four months ago, never would have entered my world of thought, have become a second home, but what about the home I left?
Moving two states away from Texas to Mississippi, I knew the distance would be difficult. I am constantly missing my friends from home and the places we used to hangout. I have friends who moved away to college, went into the military, or went straight into the workforce. As we have left our childhood routines, we have grown into our own unique lives through our own unique experiences. This type of growth has naturally lead us apart from one another. I was prepared to grow apart from those friends and I can't wait to get home and celebrate that growth with them.
What I didn't think to emotionally prepare for was what I would experience in my relationships with my friends still in my hometown. I have grown close to my friend group here in Starkville. We have grown as people and experienced enumerable new experiences together that we never could have predicted. Meanwhile, my friends still at home have grown closer in the same way...without me. Of course, I never consciously expected time to freeze until I got back, but I certainly didn't consider the fact that time would move forward.
A home has built itself around me here in Starkville. I will grow into and start my adult life far from Texas and those people and each step of the way, I will build a stronger bond with the people and places I interact with here. My friends and family who saw me grow up will always be home to me, but my relationship with that home has changed and as it changes my understanding of the concept of home changes.
I'm not sure exactly what this new understanding is yet. I know my bonds with my childhood home will change. I know they will never be broken. I know my home growing here is unlike any other I have had before or will ever have again. Most importantly, I know I will forever have a home to run back to whenever I need it.