Your dogs. Your parents. The home-cooked means (or pizza that didn't come from your own bank account.) As exciting as it is to come back to your "home away from home", it is difficult to leave all those things and so much more behind. Sometimes, a day at home seems like too much and sometimes, 3 weeks seems like not even close to enough.

Maybe you're not like me. Maybe you couldn't get away fast enough, you couldn't wait for the familiar smell of local food and beer to engulf you in your college town. Maybe 3 weeks at home was, and always will be, too much. Or maybe you're just like me. And the first night back in your bed at school feels like a disaster sleep-away camp where all you want is to go back home. And where no matter how many breaks you've come back from, you still feel the pit in your stomach wondering if it'll ever feel normal again. Maybe you text your mom a few extra times to try to get used to her not being right by you for so long.

It sucks. Every time you come back, it hurts your heart. And then it becomes normal. And you begin to love being where you are and consider it your home. You get a sense of normalcy and familiarity. And then you go back home, come back, and start the process over again.

No matter how many times you do it, going back to school is hard. Whether it be from summer break, winter break, or just a quick weekend with your family, leaving behind what was home and familiarity and happiness for 18+ years of your life is difficult. Your dogs not jumping on you and your parents not harping at you somehow becomes something you miss greatly.

But remember that missing home doesn't mean you don't love your other home. Don't question if you belong at school because your heart is longing to be elsewhere. It won't feel this way forever. You will adapt, and you will get back into the swing of things and everything will feel like it did before. Being sad to go back doesn't mean you don't love where you're going, it just means you also love where you're coming from, and that's okay.

Power through and eventually it will feel normal again. Call your mom. FaceTime your dogs. Keep yourself busy. And soon enough, this place will become the place that is hard to leave.