Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

Congrats to you for completing your first semester of college! I know it must have been a lot of work, a lot of stress, and more importantly a lot of fun. You’ve made some lifelong friends, grown up, and embraced a lot of new responsibilities in just three months. Surely you can handle anything right? Not exactly, while you may have grown up considerably in the fall, returning home for the first time can set that back at first or just be down right frustrating. With that said, I would like to gloss over a few of the things you may encounter on your first journey back home.

Parents

Let’s face it; to your parents you are always going to be their “baby”. But at the same time, they still want to not only shower you with chores as if nothing has changed, but also try to treat you like the adult that you are becoming. So yes, you will still have to do chores, pick up siblings, and run errands for them. But, you’ll notice a few things such as: no more bed time, more relaxed curfews, the ability to bring friends over without prior consultation and background checks, and less adherence to house rules overall. They are trying their best to give you some of the freedoms that you enjoyed at college while still trying to be your parents.

Friends

This is a bit dicey. Some friends you will keep from home, and some unfortunately will be lost. The first semester of college is where a lot of personal growth happens, and as such relationships will be strained and subsequently tested. Don’t worry if you and your best friend from high school split up on that first break, chances are you will have already made a deeper connection with some people on campus. Often times you’ll find yourself looking back on your old memories with a sense of, “what was I thinking”. That’s perfectly natural, the first time home presents a lot of time for reflection. Another great way to reflect in this subject is to round up your old friends circle and hang out and evaluate where you are and they are and try to make the friendship last if you believe it can. It also works for my next topic…

Relationships

If you and your significant other are going to the same school and things are still working out, then kudos and feel free to skip this section. However, if you and your significant other went to separate colleges it’s a different experience. You both have grown up in completely different ways by attending different institutions (or some have not grown at all). As such, there is often a new disconnect in the relationship that is sometime very difficult to overcome. Sometimes it works out, others its better for both parties to call it off and remain friends, because lets face it, everyone’s first semester is different and while it may not work in a romantic sense, you and your significant other may make better friends at this stage in life.

Pets

Honestly, the last few sections were pretty heavy, so this will lighten the load a bit. Your pets haven’t seen you in what feels like forever to them. With that said, they still probably love you regardless of whatever growth you go through. Your pets have your back.

Obviously a lot will change from the time you moved into your freshmen dorm to the time you first come home after your very first semester. You’ll grow up, your friends will grow, your significant other will grow, and your parent will grow. Some of the relationships that you had in the past will fizzle out and some will forge a new path. As the 11th Doctor said, “We are all different people all through our lives and that’s okay, that’s good you’ve got to keep moving so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”



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the author

Carlton Smith is a junior at the College of William and Mary currently majoring in Government. He loves to sing and dance and is involved with one of his school's A Cappella groups known as DoubleTake. He has served as the Class of 2015's Vice President for the past three years.

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