To My Family When I Come Home

To My Family When I Come Home

I'm kind of an adult now, so I'm going to need you to be patient with me.
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About nine months ago, you left me in front of my dorm, tears in both of our eyes, all by myself. As my first year away from you comes to a close, I'm getting ready to return to the nest. And I can guess you're either feeling really excited to have your baby back, or you are wishing the semester would last a little longer. But whether you're ready or not, I'm coming home.

It's been quieter around the house. You haven't had to drive to games, activities, appointments, and events for me. One less person to clean for, one less person to cook for, and one less person to feel responsible for. It's OK to admit that you've enjoyed it.

I loved my first year away from home. I tasted freedom like I never have before, and I would like to think I was safe and smart about it. I figured out how to take care of myself in every way, shape and form -- I manage my own time, I feed myself, and I get myself from point A to point B. In just a few short months, I've learned so much about myself and the world outside of our little town. It has been an amazing experience.

I'm kind of an adult now, and as I adjust to life back home, I'm asking you to be patient with me. I have spent so much time getting used to a new lifestyle where I can make up my own rules and decide when I want to follow them; it may take me a while to remember how things used to be when I was here all the time.

Please remember that I just busted my butt academically in the two hardest semesters of my life and I'm exhausted. I don't want to think about classes or my grades or anything related to my major -- I just want to enjoy my summer.

Don't get angry with me if I forget to put my dish in the dishwasher or don't do my laundry for two weeks -- when I was living on my own, I could do whatever I wanted. I know I have to live by your rules when I'm home, but give me some time to adjust. I promise I'm not a slob when I'm at school -- I'm just a college student.

I've been away from home for so long and there is so much I missed when I was gone. So please, let me pick that local restaurant I love for dinner and allow me to hang out with friends every night if I want to. I've missed the things I left behind and I'm only home for four short months, so I have to enjoy it while I'm here. I promise to spend time with you before I go back to school.

But mostly, I want to say thank you. Thank you for supporting me and loving me through all the tough times this year brought. All the phone calls, worried texts about my taxes, FaceTime sessions with the dog, and surprise weekend visits helped me survive my first year away from home. No matter where I go and how long I'm gone, I'll always be your baby and I will always appreciate everything you've done for me.

No more exams, presentations, meetings, or lectures. For the first time in a long time, I'm all yours. And even though I'm coming home now, soon I will be leaving again -- so let me enjoy my time home with you.

Cover Image Credit: Mulpix

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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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17 College Conversations That ~Only~ Happen When Your Roommate Is Also Your Best Friend

You two were meant for each other.
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Going to college can be really scary.

We all need someone to brave it with us. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to come home to that person every day. It's been a long time and many nights of pizza have passed since those awkward first few weeks. You two spend way too much time together and know way too much about each other.

And you two know that no matter how many miles are separating the two of you, you will still be best friends in real life and roommates at heart.

1. Are the guys across the hall hot?

When it's the beginning of the year and you're just trying to make some new friends.

2. Let's go to the gym.

When you guys watch Rihanna's new music video and are inspired.

3. Let's go get salad.

When you guys finish working out and are feeling like healthy queens.

4. Let's go get Five Guys.

When it's just not a gym day.

5. Let's go get pizza.

When it's still just not a gym day.

6. You better be going out with me tonight.

When it's Friday night and your roommate has been studying nonstop for weeks and you want her to have a little fun.

7. Why can't I just have a love like Troy and Gabriella do?

When she decides that watching "High School Musical" is more fun than going out, and you're both emotional because Troy and Gabriella are relationship goals.

8. Where is my other shoe?

Every other morning and both of you are late for class.

9. Where is my water bottle?

When you guys found your shoes but realize you're trying to be healthy and are going to drink eight cups of water today.

10. Where is my ID?

When you guys found your shoes and your water bottles but are still hopeless.

11. Your essay is due at midnight, and you haven't started? I'm going to kill you.

When your roommate is being irresponsible, and you're stressed for her.

12. Did you see that sweater dress? What even was that?

When your roommate's crush is in a cozy Facebook picture with another girl and you're trying to console her.

13. What does this text even mean? And why has he only Snapchatted me once today?

When you and your roommate analyze every word, emoji and punctuation mark sent by your crush and are still confused.

14. Everything is going to be OK.

When your roommate is majorly stressed about something and you want to be there for her.

15. Let's live together, even when we're married. Our husbands can deal with it.

When you and your roomie wouldn't rather live with anyone but each other forever.

16. I can't believe you're ditching me for study abroad, loser.

When your roomie gets into a study abroad program and you're actually so proud of her.

17. What am I going to do without you?

When you and your roomie know you two are meant for each other and being across the world from each other because of study abroad will be the hardest thing ever, but your love knows no boundaries, and you two will be just fine.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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