The Struggles Of Adjusting To Home After Freshman Year
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The Struggles Of Adjusting To Home After Freshman Year

I thought the hardest thing would be moving from the only home I had ever known to college, but it might have actually been moving back. home after being a college student.

The Struggles Of Adjusting To Home After Freshman Year
College Express

Going off to college was one of the biggest transitions that I have ever gone through. I went off to a city that I was familiar with, but it definitely wasn’t home. Vanderbilt was a place where I knew absolutely no one, not even the person with whom I would be sharing a room for the year. I left behind everything I had known for 18 years. My world was basically flipped upside down. But Vanderbilt and the people that I came to know became home to be.

Like most college students, I had an amazing year once I figured out how to navigate the transition. But also like most students, as the year went on, I became worn down. School became stressful, and I became more ready every day to head back to the place I had called home for my entire life. I missed the friends who knew me inside and out and the place where I felt like there were no expectations for who I should be. The one week that I have spent at home so far has been relaxing and renewing. But the thing that I feel is never talked about is how difficult the transition from your freshman year of college back to home can be.

After spending an entire school year on our own, college students all over the country are thrown back into their home environments. We are forced to leave behind the people who came into college with us as strangers and left as best friends. Most of the time, the family back home hasn’t changed, but the college student has grown all on their own. Freshman students spend a year learning how to survive on their own and begin to develop their own wings. We were able to take flight over the past year and to begin to figure out who we are as individuals. Parents sometimes forget that we are starting to blossom into adults who are learning how to make decisions on our own.

Don’t get me wrong -- I love my parents and appreciate everything they have done for me for all these years, just as I assume most post-freshman students are. It becomes difficult when we are faced with a change in our level of freedom. We are use to being able to make our own decisions and having no one question them when we do. I am by no means saying that we should never again be forced to listen to parents or that they no longer have authority over us. There is a balance between being treated like an adult and being guided by our parents that is hard to find.

Not only are we struggling with maintaining our newfound freedom, we also leave behind the people who have been there throughout our first year away from home. Going through the same adjustments together while at college creates a bond among friends that is hard to put into words. No matter how much we are aching to return home to the people we left behind in August, it is in no way easy to spend the summer apart from our college friends.

I no longer can leave my room and be in the room of one of my closest friends in less than ten steps. At school, when I was bored, I could walk next door, sit in my best friend's room, and do nothing with some company. Now that I’m at home, when I’m bored, I have nothing to do but dwell in my loneliness. This, I think, is one of the scariest struggles that come along with adjusting to life at home after being at college. Not only are we no longer surrounded by people, we don’t always have activities and meetings and studying to do. So we can get lonely and bored and sad really quickly. That terrifies me.

These are the facts that I wish someone had told me before I left Vanderbilt at the end of my freshman year. I imagined that coming home after the school year would be all sunshine and happiness. And though those factors do exist, there are also clouds that sometimes overshadow them. I am not going to let the bad parts of coming home bring me down because I know the struggles I am facing are the struggles of college students everywhere, and even though I no longer live in the same house with my college best friends, they are only a text or a call away.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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