Coming Home From the First Year of College

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Instagram: @cjkoemps

So I didn’t adhere to my usual Friday deadline last week because frankly I just forgot it was Friday. I’ve kind of lost track of my days lately. I spent all of last week preparing to leave the place I had finally settled into and go back to my “home” for the summer. I specifically put the word home in quotations because at this super awkward home-from-college-but-want-to-go-back phase, I’m not quite sure what my home actually is. Is it the place I grew up in? Or the place where I settled down for the next four years while I attempt to become a semi-functioning adult? Since a lot of my friends are facing the same dilemma, I have compiled a list (can you tell that I like lists?) of almost everything that ran through my mind over these last few days. Please bear with me as I attempt to put my mixed emotions into words.

1.Who knew I had this much stuff? Did I really move in with all of this?

2. Wait, you mean my best friends won’t live just down the hall from me ever again?

3. Wow I really could not have gotten through this semester without them. This goodbye is going to be a lot harder than I anticipated.

4. Try not to cry. Try not to cry.

5. Okay this is exciting, I get to see all my friends from home.

6. Why do people still care about stupid things?

7. Wow am I glad I left this place.

8. I don’t think I want to move back here after graduation. There’s just so many other opportunities out there.

9. I don’t ever have to see anyone from high school that I don’t want to see. Sweet.

10. I’m only going to hang out with people that make me feel good about myself this summer. No more wasting my time.

11. Can I go back to Iowa City yet?

12. I really took for granted how tidy my roommate was.

13. Seriously, does anybody pick up after themselves around here?

14. Why do we have so much useless stuff lying around the house?

15. Why did my shampoo and conditioner magically get used up overnight? Those bottles lasted me the entire year and then some. (The shampoo and conditioner thief is yet to be found)

16. I miss having my own space.

17. I actually have to unpack all this stuff? To pack it back up in two months? What’s the point in that?

18. Okay but I actually don’t know where I packed any of my stuff so I guess it might be helpful to unpack a little bit.

19. Why do I own all of this useless junk? This shirt hasn’t fit me since middle school and that phone charger doesn’t even work.

20. Why are my brothers so annoying?

21. Why is my sister so annoying?

22. I like my family a lot more from a distance.

23. What’s a curfew?

24. Do I have to tell my parents where I’m going every time I leave the house?

25. Why does my family go to bed so early?

26. How does one grab a snack from the kitchen at midnight without anyone hearing?

27. I’m actually kind of bored not having any responsibilities.

28. This is so fun to see how much my friends have grown and developed over the last nine months.

29. I wish my school friends and my home friends could meet.

30. Can I go back to Iowa City yet?

Being uprooted and leaving everything you’ve come to love over the past nine months is never easy. Readjusting to living with your family, having a curfew, and seeing your old friends after so much has changed is going to be a challenge. But damn, am I privileged. I’m so lucky to be able to go away for college. I’m so lucky to have a family that feeds me and gives me a free place to stay. I’m so lucky to be able to be experiencing these “struggles” because not everyone is as fortunate as I am.

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