When I started sending in my applications for college, about this time last year, I never thought that I would miss being home.
Don’t get me wrong, college is fun, but there’s something about it that has made me realize that being with my parents, my family, my cat and my house, is truly home.
It’s a little past two months in and I think I have really taken advantage of the “college experience”. Taking part in a more “sheltered” home life than most of my friends, I had parents who raised me to be a good person inside and out; they clearly cared about me and didn’t let me run around high school doing whatever the hell I wanted to do. There were rules, there were expectations for grades, there were many many fights. Now, looking back on all of it, I know that it showed how much they cared. Having caring parents taught me how to responsibly use my independence because I now know how to make my decisions wisely and how to take care of myself and my friends. In high school, there wasn’t as much “picking your friends”. You sort of got placed in a group with people who shared similar interests or did similar activities as you, and you had to be friends with them. In college, it's slightly different. You end up spending a lot of your time with people who share your interests, people who are in your major, and people who do similar activities as you, but you get to choose whether or not you want to be friends with all of them. By the time you get to college, you know what kind of personality traits you look for in a person and what kind of things you value in people; you look for possibly sharing your faith with them, or you might even just be looking for someone who is fun and gets you out of your comfort zone. Whatever the case, it seems that in college you are given the leverage to pick and chose what makes you happy.
At this point in the year, I can consciously say that I am happy at my school. There isn’t very much that I dislike, except that I miss home-cooked meals. I haven’t given much thought into not liking school because I just feel it isn’t an option. I think that it is important to give your school a chance and to give yourself a chance to adjust to the college life. The college life is no easy task to acclimate to. I thought I was doing a good job and finding myself in a new position in a new friend group. I was no longer the mom who took care of everyone, but the one who seems to get along with everyone and move around friend groups because each one is a little different. I still care about all the people in high school that I “mommed," but I see myself changing and sometimes, I can tell that many of them are not okay with that. Moving on and growing up doesn’t happen to everyone right away, but I know that being thrown into the college life with no chance of being prepared for it, made me grow up pretty quickly, and I know I’m not the same person I was in high school. I second guess where I stand right now on being an adult because I realize that being a grown-up isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be.
So we’re two months in and I know that I’m hitting a little bit of a dip in the road. It has been pretty smooth sailing since the beginning of the year with a little stress here and there and some tense moments between some of my new friends, but I didn’t think I would get to this point so quickly. I miss my mom. I miss my dad. I miss my home. I actually miss high school. I miss having my parents on my case all the time. Not necessarily about school work (I think I have that under control), but about everything else. Not having them constantly giving me lectures is strange and I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that. All of this week I have been on the verge of a breakdown, something I am far too familiar with from the four years of high school. This time, though, I really need my mom. I’m not ashamed to say that I miss my family because I really do. College is a whirlwind of experiences and I just want to sit down at the counter with my dad for dinner and decompress all of the days drama while we eat together. I miss dancing regularly at my dance studio with friends who are really my family. I miss sitting at lunch with my orchestra and choir teacher and all my friends, making stupid jokes and acting immature. Adulting is hard and I can still admit that I really need my parents to get me through it.
I’ve been told that it is okay not to like your first semester freshman year of college, because as I mentioned before, you have to acclimate to the conditions of the college lifestyle. I wish that the “OMG college is so great” expectation that I had coming into college would have been met by now.
For all of you kiddos who are just applying, don’t be afraid to go. Yeah, there are parties and tons of cool people who you will meet within hours of being on campus, but don’t forget about your home and the people who brought you to where you are. Moving on is great, but there has to be some little part of you that still finds a place of your heart at home.I truly resent all of the things I said about dying to move away and getting freedom because sometimes it's nice to have someone looking out for you all the time. Take advantage of your parents because soon, you’ll be on your own with no money, no food, and motivation that is solely dependent on you. Though it has its perks, two months in and the college lifestyle is really getting to me.