You have been at school enjoying your time learning, but your brain has absorbed so much information over the past nine months that you have earned a well-deserved break. Finals just finished, and you couldn't be happier. As you finish packing up and stuffing all the junk you've accumulated over the past few months in your car, you say goodbye to your favorite people at school, the place you consider your second home. It is hard to imagine leaving them for a full three months, but it is finally time to go home.
As you make your way home, you are so excited to see your family and your three-year-old dog, Scruffy, and give them each huge hugs. You're happy that your little sister named your dog Scruffy because the name suits him really well. Your favorite thing about Scruffy is that his shaggy hair covers his eyes so much that he runs into walls daily. Even though you love Scruffy, you are most excited to have your own room after spending the past nine months coordinating sleeping arrangements with your roommate. You just want to sleep in your own bed at last.
You pull into your driveway and take a couple of bags and walk inside. Something immediately feels different, but you don’t know what.
You open the door and expect your family to be waiting with arms wide open to help you carry your things inside, but all you see is darkness. Not only are they not awake and waiting to see you, but they went to bed at their usual bedtime because your parents are officially getting old enough to have a bed time. It is as if your homecoming is not worthy of a celebration or a greeting. Upset and slightly annoyed, you bring your stuff up to your room and start unpacking only the essentials. As you are on your way up the stairs, you see Scruffy, fluffy as always. He comes over to greet you and jump all over you and lick your face. You are so happy at least someone is happy to see you. But then, he trots away. It has been all of 30 seconds and Scruffy is already going back to life as usual.
You see your bed and a huge smile comes across your face. You know you are not overreacting because you were daydreaming of sleeping in your bed when you were supposed to be studying for your biology class. You jump on it so aggressively that you are sure you could easily have fallen through to the ground. As you roll around in the covers of your bed, you start feel a little uncomfortable. You have no idea why, but something is just different.Nothing is making any sense. You don’t know why your parents weren’t waiting for you to come home so they could surprise you with a huge hug, your dog got tired of you after 30 seconds and worst of all, your bed doesn’t feel right. You have just come home after being away for nine months and everything has changed. While you were away at college, your family somehow was able to move on and continue their lives without you. You spent your time at college trying to fit in away from your home with your family. But now that you are with your family, your college home seems more like a home to you. This is completely inconceivable in your mind and you wish it wasn’t true, but it is. You might have exaggerated the joy you and your family would have upon your arrival at home, but when you are in finals mode, that is the only thing helping you remember to finish out strong. Everything is different and you don’t like it, but you will get over it eventually. Fortunately for you, you don't have to be concerned about finals anymore and instead can look forward to the chores your parents will make you do and being their designated driver all summer long. Maybe it would be nice to start thinking about how summer is only three months long. Only three months until you will be reunited with your friends at home again. Everything is looking up for you!