It's time for school to start again! For me, that means moving a whopping 15-minutes from family and back to the campus that's slowly starting to become my second home. I was terrified my freshman year because I didn't know what college had in store for me. Going back as a sophomore, I'm beyond excited to explore more of my great university.
Overall, I found myself quite bored this summer. Excitingly enough, I was flown out to the Pinterest headquarters, but I mostly spent my free time binging Netflix, as we all do. Now that it's time to go back, however, I realize just how much I'm going to miss the town I've always called "home."
I'm sure many people from small towns can relate, but I cannot begin to describe the sense of community in my town. We recently found out our local paper will be shutting down at the end of August. Almost every single community member flocked to Facebook to express their outrage to the news company, but even more so to share their love for the sweet editor, as she has become a dear friend and beloved community member to us all.
I think the loss of our local paper is what truly made me realize how much I cherish the time spent at home. Furthermore, during my last week of work, I had many of my regulars tell me just how much they're going to miss me this fall while I'm at school, which absolutely broke my heart. I guess I didn't comprehend just how much of a fixture I have become in my community this summer. I'll definitely be missing the people I've come to care for these past few months.
I failed to recognize what I love about this community: our school spirit, our small businesses, our amazing Mexican restaurant, and so much more. As boring as this town may be compared to bigger places, this place is my home, and I'll forever be grateful.
Nevertheless, I'm okay saying "goodbye" to my ever-loving hometown because I know I have an equally amazing community waiting for me at school. It's a very different type of community; most of the people I interact with are my age or close to it, and Champaign a more urban environment. Regardless, the bonds that can be formed are just as wonderful as those I've forged at home.
So, as I unpack my things back at school where I feel like I now belong, I'll remember that my small town made me who I am, and that while I'm not the person I thought I'd be growing up, I owe it all to the cute little town I've left to chase my dreams.