Thoughts on spending the summer in Missouri, away from home

I'm Staying In My College Town For The Summer, Not Going Home Isn't As Easy As It Seemed

My thoughts on being away from home this summer.

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Pulling out of the driveway, waving to my parents while tears streamed down my face, I started contemplating if I was ready to drive the 6 hours back to college for the summer or if I should get out of the car and give them one last hug. This might be the hardest goodbye yet.

Let's flashback to January of 2018 when I was still a senior in high school. Choosing a college out-of-state means that the cost of tuition is over the moon, and it is a no brainer to both my parents and me to find ways to cut that tuition down. After committing to the University of Missouri I knew I would have to live in Missouri the summer after my freshman year to gain residency, which happens to cut my tuition in half, due to becoming a Missouri resident.

In fact, Mizzou makes it easy for out-of-state students to gain that residency. In order to do so, you have to live in Missouri from August to August prior to the semester you plan to apply for residency. For me, I will be living on campus in Missouri this summer. With that being said, there are minimum requirements that I must complete, including proof of earning at least $2,000 of taxable income in Missouri during that 12 month qualifying period, proof of a Missouri driver's license, a copy of my Missouri voter's registration verification, and more.

Part of me is excited to spend the summer in a different state and explore with my fellow in and out-of-state pals, but the other part of me is sad to not be with my family or my friends who have already moved back home. Not to mention, seeing everyone pack up, move out the dorms and say goodbye to Mizzou for the summer makes me sad and a bit jealous.

Coming home to see my parents, enjoying home-cooked meals, seeing my favorite high school seniors play their final home soccer game, and congratulating my brother on graduating college in a short weekend before I head back to Mizzou for the summer was an absolute tease.

But hey, I am going to make the most of this summer. Just look at the bright side! I get to move out of my current dorm into a new one that is located right across from the MizzouRec, aka the outdoor pool is just steps away, I am rooming with one of my best friends, Olivia, I get to redecorate a whole new room, and the best yet, my three hometown pals are coming to visit in June. I am even taking an 8-week journalism class to ease the stress for the fall semester.

Speaking of less stress, this summer I also plan on taking time for myself and spend time doing things I am passionate about. This includes bullet journaling, hammocking and just enjoying a break from the previous and upcoming rigorous semesters. Oh, and I can't forget about the fact that I drove my car here for the summer. I will be able to explore off campus and the rest of Missouri. Road trips to Kansas City and St. Louis are calling my name.

Times when I feel sad and start dreading the anticipated summer homesickness, I text my parents about how I am feeling and how much I'll miss them. They reply with something like "we miss you like crazy...but it will go by fast, and before you know it, it will be August," but honestly, I actually don't want it to go too fast.

Freshman year went by within the blink of an eye and I just want to focus on living in the moment and enjoying where I am at right now. Yes, it will be difficult not waking up in my own bed, not riding bikes to town with my mom on the daily or not seeing the kiddos I nanny at least three times a week, but here's to new adventures in new places with new memories made.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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If Shonda Can Do A Year Of Yes, Then So Can I

Yes.

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A few years ago, Shonda Rimes decided to do a year of saying yes, after her sister told her she says "No" to everything. It ended up changing her life.

So, I've decided to embark on my own year of yes.

Sure, it may be easy to say yes to everything when you're a millionaire with a bunch of record-setting televisions shows, but the rest of us can do it too.

Say yes to treating yourself.

Say yes to taking care of yourself.

Say yes to saying no, don't stretch yourself too thin.

Say yes to new opportunities

The year of yes is about taking better care of yourself.

My year of yes starts right now.

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