The Transition Stage: Feeling Out of Place at Home During Your College Years

After eight months of complete freedom spent with my best friends in NOLA’s environment of fun and adventure, the thought of returning home to order, boredom, and parents seemed extremely uninviting and almost scary to me. By the end of the year, college starts to feel almost (if not more) like home than your real home. You get used to your new surroundings, people, and life, so much so that it becomes the norm. You get used to living on your own with individuals that you choose to live with. You get used to living a life where you decide your own classes, activities, and relationships: a life that you decide for yourself.

My goodbyes this year seemed especially hard. The people that I surround myself with in college were there with me through everything, from difficult classes, to late night snacking, to wild nights at the boot, to exploring New Orleans and so much more. You never really have to get used to being apart from your college friends for more than one or two weeks at a time and now all of the sudden you are parting ways for months.The sweet era of adventure together comes to an end.

Once I got home in May and walked into my childhood bedroom, there were so many emotions swirling through my head. I felt as if I was entering a place so foreign yet so familiar at the same time. I felt somewhat incomplete, knowing half of the people close to my heart were halfway across the country. I felt somewhat pathetic, knowing I was probably going to spend the next few days in my bed, with my eyes glued to Netflix. But I think the hardest feeling of all was feeling somewhat out of place in my hometown. Yes, as I started to reconnect with old friends and visit my favorite coffee shops and food spots, it started to feel more like home again. But it didn’t feel quite like the home I had grown up in my entire life. I felt more like a visitor in this awkward in-between space, where I am still a kid living at home and also an adult in the real world.

As college students, this is the stage of life we’re in: a transitioning stage. As much as college is its own milestone, I am starting to realize that it is also just one long transition period from childhood to adulthood. As I get farther and farther from the kid side and closer and closer to becoming a “grownup,” I am coming to understand just how scary the concept of growing up can be.

This is what makes leaving your college environment so hard. When you’re at school, you are constantly distracted by your busy surroundings that sometimes you forget the stage of life you’re in. It’s almost as if you are in this imaginary world that is somewhat separate from real life. Coming home is so hard, not only because of the goodbyes and the endings, but because you really feel all the emotions of being in this transition stage. You realize that you are in fact growing up and that life is moving quickly; college, unfortunately, won’t last forever.

People always tell us that this is the most exciting time in our lives. Yes, there are so many electrifying, enjoyable aspects of being young, but there are also so many overwhelming decisions to make and scary unknowns to uncover.

So, don’t stress if you aren’t completely feeling the happy summer vibes at home. Coming home from college is a very tough change for everyone. Growing up is hard. But, for now, we are all still young and lucky enough to enjoy a wonderful college community at Tulane in addition to a life at home. So, enjoy these last few years of being a somewhat kid; the scarier adult years await!

COVER PHOTO: Daily Star

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