You've made it through your first month of college and everything is going great! You have been enjoying all your classes and loving all the new friends and activities you have to do and you haven't been that homesick, but it seems like it's officially the right time to go home. This is where the three stages of going home begin:
1. The "Excitement of Going Home" Stage
It's the week before leaving and you're completely ready to go home. School has been feeling stressful, you've been out Thursday through Saturday each weekend, you miss a home cooked meal, and cuddling up to your sweet animals.
It seems like you haven't been able to sit down and relax in ages, because everything has been moving in fast motion. As you pack up your car to leave with the massive amount of laundry you have to do, your excitement is through the roof.
Your fear of missing at is at a minimum and you don't even care about missing out on a good time, because a good time to you right now sounds like laying in bed and doing absolutely nothing for the whole day. As you say goodbye to school, you are completely ready for a relaxing weekend at home.
2. The "Guest" Stage
You're finally home! Your family is so excited to see you and it feels so good to be home, but you can't hide the feeling that you feel like a guest in your own home. Your bedroom looks emptier than it usually does and a pit grows in your stomach as you see the changes made to a place that you once were in daily.
It's almost as if you were just gone on a long vacation, except when you come home, everything has changed. Pushing past the fear, you get to relax and enjoy the time you have at home.
That's until an argument breaks out between you and a family member. Usually this part of the stage ends in tears and you have to walk out and take a breather. Because you will only be home for a few days, you decide to give it up and forget about what the fight was about and enjoy the rest of the trip.
3. The "Returning 'Home'" Stage
It's now time to go back to school, also known as home now. It's a bittersweet time, because while you're leaving your family again, you will be getting back into your routine.
Saying goodbye seems even harder than it did the first day you left, but you know you have to go back and face the reality of the pile of books you need to study for quizzes and tests in the next couple weeks.
You haul the massive amount of supplies your parents bought you, including leftovers, into the car. You hug your family goodbye, and with a sigh of sadness and relief you head up back to school.