What You Actually Miss About Home

What You Actually Miss About Home

Something's missing...
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So there you sit, about a month into the semester, ignoring the homework due tomorrow and the test you have Thursday. In the silence, you lay in bed thinking about how much you have to do and how stressed you are, yet you remain there, doing nothing. Your mind is going wild with nostalgic thoughts of the place you call home. You realize, whether you'll willingly admit it or not, that you miss it. Before you call your mom asking if there's any reason you shouldn't come home this upcoming weekend, your brain sorts through the things (in no particular order) that are missing from your college life:

  • Your dog. Let's be real, your dog (or cat, if you're into that sort of thing) holds your heart. It's debatably the most important thing in your life. You miss those slimy kisses and furry cuddles. You miss the way your dog's ears perk up when you yell "treat!"
  • Your bed. Does this even need explanation?
  • Your full refrigerator. Your fridge at school has a carton of expired milk, some leftovers that you stole from the dining hall and maybe some ketchup. What does your fridge at home have? Fully paid for, all-you-can-eat deli meat, sweet tea, fresh fruit, your favorite home-cooked meal's leftovers, eggs and basically every other nutritional/delicious gift to mankind. Did I mention you didn't have to buy it?
  • Your favorite local restaurant(s). I personally come from a town with over 20 authentic Mexican restaurants. Going to college in a town where the 'best Mexican restaurant' is equivalent to Taco Bell is disappointing. All I want is my favorite cheese dip from home, just as all college kids want something from their favorite restaurants that are unique to their hometown.
  • The roads you know like the back of your hand. Have you ever gotten to a frequent destination and realized that you had zoned out for most of the drive there? If so, you've probably also wondered how you didn't wreck and if your mom would think it was funny. First: she won't, so don't tell her. Second: you didn't die because you know every crack, every curve, and every speed trap of the roads in your hometown. Roads at school are different and new, and the cops are everywhere. Another thing to remember, college kids can't drive. Driving at home is much less stressful.
  • All of the adults that love you (and buy your meals on occasion). Your small group leaders, mentors, coaches and sometimes your bosses care about you. They wonder how your semester is going and when you'll come home and visit them. You can go ahead and admit that you miss them too. You probably also miss the free food you get when they say, "let's meet for lunch and catch up!"
  • Senior year. You were on top, and now you're right back at the bottom of the food chain. College knocked you right off your high-horse. You can't slack off the way you did, you can't expect easy assignments like you did, you don't get graduation gifts at the end of every year, and you don't get to be starters on the field or soloists in the performance (without earning it) anymore. Sorry, it sucks.
  • Similarly, you miss PARTS of your high school career. Not so much the stupid drama and SAT practice, but you definitely miss your softball team. You definitely miss your favorite teacher(s). You definitely miss the Friday-night football with your sub-par football team.
  • The gym/studio/field wherever your hobby took place. That place was your escape and your safe haven, and it's been entirely too long since you've been there. You miss the memories you made there, and the people that you made those memories with.
  • Quiet nights. Whether you're in the dorms, other on-campus housing, off-campus student housing or just any apartment complex, you know for a fact that quiet nights are a rarity. Car horns, parties next door, neighbors with loud TV's and music, elephants that live above you and just overall poorly-insulated structures interfere with your ability to get a good night's rest. In the privacy of your own home, the only sounds you hear are leaves blowing in the wind and cicadas making their night-time noises. It's pretty great.
  • A full phone battery. It's amazing how much more phone activity occurs when you're at school. You're constantly refreshing social media, checking emails, texting seemingly every person you know. When everyone knows you're home, though, they don't text you as much. They know you can't hang out/do them any favors because you're not close. When you're home, or at least when I'm home, I sometimes forget about social media and emails. So, if you forget your phone charger as often as I do, don't worry! You're phone probably won't die anytime soon.
  • A clean house. Your dorm or apartment may be clean, but it was your responsibility to clean it. Remember how nice it was to come home after school and walk across vacuumed carpet? Remember when you washed your hands in the kitchen sink and didn't have to work around dirty dishes? It was nice, wasn't it?
  • Paid utilities. Similar to the previous point, this is another responsibility that doesn't apply to your home-life. At school, showers are short (either because of your water bill or because of the lack of hot water), lights are dim and the indoor temperature is a little uncomfortable. At home, though, showers are long and warm, lights stay on and the air conditioner makes you cold. The best part? It doesn't all come out of your paycheck.
  • Your family. The ones that pay for the expensive utilities, the ones that clean the house, the ones that gave you the opportunity to have the high school career and the hobbies that you had, the ones that stock the fridge and the ones that bought your dog. Don't you just love them? They're the best thing that ever happened to you. The reality of "home" is that it's wherever they are.

If you haven't already done it, pick up the phone and plan a trip home. Your family will thank you for it, and you'll thank yourself for it.

Cover Image Credit: The Daily Citizen

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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To Those Who Feel The Need To Tear Down Others, Take A Seat

You have no right to hurt others because you don’t agree with them.

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I recently wrote a super controversial article, which I'm honestly very proud of. In the comment section, there were plenty of people criticizing me because of what I believe in, mainly because they didn't believe in the same thing as I put out there.

I would just like everyone to know that the people that write for this amazing company are just that — people. They are real, they have opinions, and they have feelings. There is nothing different about them than you. Would you like someone commenting hate on your Facebook post or anything like that? No, no you wouldn't. When you comment rude things on something that someone worked long and hard on, you are just being rude and inconsiderate of their feelings.

If you just go to the comments to leave a rude comment, you can write it down on a piece of paper and throw it away. You're being a bully. These writers more than likely will go to the comment section, just like I did, and will be hurt by your arrogant, inappropriate comments.

Ever heard of if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.

If you don't agree with me that's fine, but that doesn't give you the right to deliberately go and try and tear me or anyone else down. You're just being rude and you have no reason to be, all I did was write an article on something I believe in.

Also, don't let anyone rude enough to do this tear you down or diminish your self-worth. There are people out there who are still kind and caring, don't listen to the negativity this world brings. Just keep doing what makes you happy, because in the end, that's all that really matters.

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