The First Trip Home Is Beyond Much Needed

The First Trip Home Is Beyond Much Needed

When you go home, don't forget to tell them you love them!

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Going home for the first time since you left college is an amazing feeling. After a month and a half, I finally walked through my door and was instantly hit with the fragrance of my mom's Indian food. It's funny because my friends always told me my house has a very distinct scent and it wasn't until that moment that I could smell it. It was a blend of spices and home.

Being with your family after a long time makes all the little issue melt away when you finally meet. My brother and I didn't fight once when I went back. The distance strengthened our bond. And when we reminisced we talked about the happy memories that were made and about what was new.

When I was with my family every day of every week of every year, I didn't know what I had. I focused on going away, being independent. Many college students do the same thing. We are so focused on growing up and doing what we want and moving on, that we forget to really cherish the luxury of being loved by our parents or having those family dinners and movie nights. We won't ever get that time back. But we can cherish the time we do get with our families now. And I think the best way to do that is to take your focus away from what you want and focus on what your loved ones want.

The best feeling is the happiness you feel when you see your mother or brother happy. Try to cook with your mother instead of forcing her to take you to the mall. Take your little brother out for ice cream. Spend time with your dad listening to music. Doing things that they love will allow you to show your family how much you love them. And you'd be surprised at how much you enjoy the activities they do.

When I went home, my mother and I watched Bollywood movies all day long, we made Indian tea and eggs for breakfast Saturday morning like we used to do. And it was just very relaxing and calming to leave the stressful campus atmosphere for the cozy home ambiance.

No one will love you as much as your mother or father, so we must cherish them for as long as we can, and we must show them that we care and that we love them. When you go home, don't forget to tell them you love them!

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Most Incoming Freshmen Are Only Worried About Making Friends, But I'm Worried About When To Tell My New Friends About My Disability

I shouldn't have to worry about if people are going to accept me for something I can't control.

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Going to college is a big change for anyone and it's a difficult time for a lot of us. It is hard enough being an incoming freshman at a new school, let alone a freshman with a disability.

I never knew how much extra stuff I had to do in order to be able to get the accommodations I need plus all the typical college duties a student has on their plate. I had to fill out an online application to prove my disability, a learning accommodations form, an accommodations form, a Vocational Rehab form, a transportation form, plus the millions of other forms you have to fill out in order to become a student at any college.

It took three hours... It was very overwhelming. And I had to talk to a lot of people about the million forms I filled out without my parents' help.

"Welcome to adulthood," they said.

It happened in the blink of an eye. Besides all the forms, choosing roommates is harder than I thought it was going to be. It's something that most people find nerve-wracking. I have the challenge of not only trying to meet new people in an unfamiliar environment like everyone else but in hopes of being accepted by my peers because of my disability.

At what point do I tell people about my disability? Do I tell them when we are getting to know each other or when we are going to meet up? That's probably the thing I am scared the most about.

I have heard that college students are more accepting of disabilities than most high schoolers, which puts me at ease a little bit.

But people can be really cruel, no matter what age.

I am also realizing as I go through the roommate process that students are not properly informed on disabilities and how to treat others with disabilities. I shouldn't have to worry about if people are going to accept me for something I can't control. Students should be nice and accept people of all different abilities. But it's easier said than done.

Another thing, trying to find a job that will be accommodable to me has been difficult. It seems so easy for a typical college student to get a job, but not me. I have spent the last six months applying for jobs just to hear nothing back from businesses. All I want to do is earn money like everyone else to try and go to college.

That's one of the reasons I applied to Vocational Rehab is to potentially get money monthly in order to suffice a job for now or at least to keep me on my toes for a little bit.

There's that... then there is the typical college student stuff housing, dining, medical forms, transcripts, and student sport passes... It is just a lot for one 18-year-old to handle. The point is, as some of you are going through the same college process, be courteous to your classmates around you.

We are all going through something similar but others may be dealing with a little more or nervous so be kind and understanding.

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