Home Is Where The Heart Is

Home Is Where The Heart Is

It's more than a place—it's a feeling.
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Finals week signifies the stressful end of the semester, and on top of all of your rigorous academic obligations, you still have to pack up for your trip home. However, despite all of the stress and troubles associated with the last few weeks of school, the benefits of coming home definitely outweigh the negatives.

For example, there is nothing quite like your own bed, where you can wrap yourself in layers of blankets and pillows on a mattress that isn't twin XL. You don't have to worry about noise throughout the building keeping you up at night when you have to get up for your 8 a.m. in three hours.

You also get a nice break from dining hall food because your dinner is fresh and not produced in mass quantities. You also eat on more of a schedule as opposed to when you remember to eat on a particular day. You have time to work off the poor dietary choices you made as a result of your limited resources at school.

Additionally, there is something simply liberating about showering in a non-communal stall. You get to ditch the shower sandals for a few months and can blast whatever music you want, as loud as you wish. Plus, your dearly cherished bath bombs can finally be put to good use.

You get to see a world outside of your little concrete square, where you wake to the sound of the lawnmower on a sunny Saturday morning. You wake up to hear the birds chirping and children playing with their friends. You go downstairs to pet your dog and to actually enjoy your breakfast because you don't have to rush to class.

If you have a summer job, you get to reunite with your co-workers and share your stories about the year you just had. You work as often as you can to make enough to cover your books for next semester, but keep in mind that all work and no play makes for a boring summer.

You relive your high school glory days after having to reteach yourself the basics of driving by meeting up with your friends from home to get some late-night grub at the local gas station. Maybe you go to the mall with a few friends or to a baseball game just like old times. You realize that although your lives may have changed in a variety of ways, your connection and traditions will never falter.

Nothing beats quality time with your friends and family who missed you as much as you missed them when you were away. Savor every second of your time at home, whether you're 15 minutes or 15 hours away. Whether you believe it or not, your absence at home makes an impact on the life of your neighbors, your friends, your local community and especially your parents. Your dog looks for you every day around the house, which is why he/she gets so excited to see you when you come home.

With all of this being said, you understand that your life at school has become a home away from home for you. In a sense, you'll miss the communal shower singing sessions or the congregations at the library or dining hall. You'll miss shooting a text to that girl on your floor who is always down to order mass quantities of pizza or Chinese with you. At the beginning of freshman year, everyone started off as strangers, but you left with your own little school family.

It's when you say your emotional goodbyes on move-out day that you'll realize that, as great as it will be to spend some time with your friends and family, you'll always know that there's no place like your home away from home.

Cover Image Credit: chieftainpress.net

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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