Coming home for the summer from my freshman year at Clemson, I never expected the nostalgia to hit me so hard and so quickly. This was without a doubt the best year of my life so far, filled with new friends and experiences I had only dreamed of up until this point. For me, being at school felt like some kind of ideal world where I could finally feel confident and admired, inspired and excited for whatever was to come; a feeling foreign to me. Saying goodbye to my friends was so bittersweet, but I still found a hint of peace in remembering the summers past and how I used to count down the days until the school year was over. Unfortunately, this summer has not felt the same as the rest.
I realized quickly why I felt so lonely and empty when I came home; I was slowly but surely coming down off of the crazy high that college gave me. The unpleasant memories of high school accompanied by the recollection of my Freshman year have created a descent into normality that has made me sad, wistful and a little antsy. The minute I got a taste of the euphoria college life gave me, I knew being home would never feel the same. Maybe the feeling is elevated for me since my high school experiences were so damaging for me, but I know I can't be the only one who is feeling a little gloomy.
Part of me thinks this uncomfortable feeling may come from the fear of things not feeling the same when I go back to school. Everything felt like a dream, from the effortless fun to the overwhelming realization that life would be forever changed for the better. Since I didn't have much of anything delightful to compare it to, is it possible that any college experience would have felt like Utopia to me?
Although that could contribute to the trance I was in, I believe I genuinely had such an amazing year that I wasn't prepared for the readjusting I would have to do back at home. I already feel as though I've lost some of the things I had at school, some of those things being confidence and an appreciation for myself I had never felt.
Even though I am currently feeling the summertime blues (which I never knew existed until now), I am keeping my head up. Yes, I am anxiously awaiting the day that move-in happens. Yes, I am fantasizing about all the new memories I will make this year. But instead of wallowing in my wistfulness, I am redirecting the energy to create music, learn more about myself and trying to enjoy the times of quiet and solitude.
Maybe summer isn't my favorite time of year anymore, and maybe it is a bit of a comedown. But I will keep looking forward, and choose to smile at the idea of possibly having an even better Sophomore year.