1. Access to a car

I never fully appreciated having a car in high school until I went off to college and have to walk everywhere. I occasionally Uber to and from places in college but having access to my own car is not only more efficient, but also a lot cheaper.

2. Eating at your favorite restaurants

I’m constantly trying out new restaurants in the downtown area surrounding my school’s campus, but I have yet to find Mexican food that even comes close to the family-run burrito restaurant located less than two minutes away from the house that I grew up in.

3. Reuniting with high school friends

Snapchat, Instagram, and text messages between me and my friends from high school help us stay in touch, but no form of communication can compare to a warm hug from your best friends that you haven’t seen in over two months.

4. Weather

Moving from the southwest where the temperature rarely even falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit to the Midwest where it already has fallen to 20 degrees makes coming feel like a tropical vacation. Open-toed shoes and shorts everyday.

5. Home-cooked meals

Nothing is a better change from the typical, dining hall food than a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal– and it didn’t even cost me a meal swipe.

6. Showering without shoes on

I most definitely took showering barefoot for granted until I started college and had to worry about foot fungi. Bonus: Everything I need for my shower is already in the shower and not in a caddy.

7. Catching up with your family

Even though I couldn’t wait to move out to college, I miss seeing my family everyday. Seeing my family in person, rather than through a computer screen, is much more gratifying.

8. Sleeping in a comfortable bed

I thought that my bed at school was pretty comfortable until I came home and slept on a mattress rather than a piece of cardboard covered in sheets.

9. Relaxation

College is a constant cycle of readings, papers, tests, repeat. Coming home for just a few days with zero work was a much needed time to decompress after ten straight weeks of academics– and to make up for all of the lost sleep in the process.

10. Seeing your dog

This one doesn’t need an explanation.