When Your Home is No Longer Your Home

3:37:00 PM

I spent a few days at home this week for spring break for the first time in a little while. I was at the house I grew up, but one thing was abundantly clear: I'm no longer at home there.

My parents are so great to me whenever I come back. We go out to dinners and watch movies. They let me treat their house like my own personal Costco. It really is always nice to see them. But when I go home, it's like I'm 17 years old again.

I've built myself a life in my last 4 years at school. All of my friends are here. Both of my jobs are here. I live in the cutest house ever and I've worked hard to make it feel like my own.

The thing is, I was devastated to leave high school. I loved my time there. I was student body president and planned our prom. I was really involved in our school's digital media program. I was really happy with where I was. I cried the whole last week of classes because I wasn't ready for it to be over. It's a scary thing to have to pick up and start your whole life over, so to speak.

I headed off to USC at the end of that summer, 4 hours away from where I grew up, convinced that I would hate it. I had the insecurities that I think most people do when they start school-- what if I didn't make any friends? What if the classes were too hard? Did I pick the wrong school? Will I miss my family too much?

Now I find myself, 4 years later, facing a very similar situation. I have no idea where I'll be heading come May or even what I'll be doing, but I do know that I want to go somewhere new and experience new things. I'm still worried about the same things (and many more-- Yay, adulthood! Yay, bills and taxes!), but at least I know now that I can do it. Maybe not the taxes part, but the rest.

I'm asked time and time again why I picked the University of South Carolina when there are so many great schools in North Carolina and aside from the scholarship they offered me, the answer is that I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to try new things and meet new people and be my own person. School has given me the incredible opportunity to find myself and I think that's why facing my 17-year old self back in Apex, NC makes me so uncomfortable. I'm not who I was back then and that's okay. 

I'm heading into these last few weeks of school with the intention of making the most of it. I know that the next part of my life will be exciting, but that doesn't mean I won't miss this. It'll be a sad day when I realize that my cute little house is no longer my own, but here's hoping the next chapter will be even better than the last few!

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