I was sitting down on my couch with a remote in one hand and my iPhone in the other at 11 p.m. on a Saturday night when I decided that I am too old for home.
Earlier that day a friend and I said that we would try to meet up after he was done hanging out with his girlfriend. But, two missed calls and a few texts later, I gave up trying to make anything happen that night. This was not the first time this summer that plans with one of my best friends from high school fell through, it was happening more and more as summer progressed. So, I knew that 30 minutes after my attempt to contact my friend it was time to put on my gym shorts, order Dominos pizza, and see what was on HBO.
I went home this summer because I missed it…a lot. I could have stayed on campus, taken summer classes, or done a random summer program that you spend a lot of money to travel for elective credits, but I missed the beach, my high school friends, and my favorite barbeque joint.
Home itself wasn’t the problem; it’s just that the novelty of it all wore off about a week into summer vacation. At school, I was always busy on a Saturday night and always had somewhere I needed to be, and frankly was rarely alone at all. And after getting sunburnt twice and eating my weight in chicken wings, I was ready to go back.
While at home, I was on Facebook and Twitter seeing my friends party hard and go to exotic places, and it made me feel like I was wasting my summer sitting on the couch and with old friends. Why wasn’t I #YOLO-ing it up? Where had the “Carpe Diem” attitude I had all year gone? Hanging out with my friends and doing all the things I missed the most really just didn’t do it for me. The old gossip, the old places, the old jokes, were just…old.
The issue was that I put the idea of “home” on a pedestal all during the last month of college and really did not remember it for how it truly was. On the other hand, maybe I thought that since I had changed during these past nine months, surely life at home must have changed with me. But I realized that is the great and awful thing about returning home. It is exactly as you remember it, however sometimes when you leave it for a while, you don’t fit back into it the way you had in the past.
So more than year after graduation, I decided to accept that I am changing, and I should close that chapter of my life.
Home to me now is like re-reading a Harry Potter book you have read a thousand times before: you know what is going to happen (heck you can almost quote it), but it is still nice and comforting to revisit.
Therefore, when going home, don’t imagine it to be the same as it was when you were in high school; don’t think that going to your friend’s house and having a couple drinks will give you the same rush it did back then. But nevertheless, enjoy it, because in college, everything everyday is a hectic new adventure filled with new classes, new responsibilities, and new memories. Appreciate how soothing it can be to know what is going to happen, and just go along for the ride.
Yes, I still feel like I am wasting my day by binge watching something on Netflix or going to the movies rather than jumping out of a plane. But, I force myself to realize that I do not sit for 9 months out of the year, watching Netflix and sitting by the beach is something new, and why shouldn’t it be exciting? However, I can only handle it for a couple weeks at a time, not 2 months.
I will still go back home and revisit my favorite things for those couple of weeks, just don’t expect me to relive the whole series again, because I have new pages to fill.