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Outgrowing Home

I never thought it was possible to feel like a guest in my own house, but it’s pretty hard not to when you’re living out of a suitcase in a seemingly empty bedroom. 

Fall break was the first time I had gone home since starting college, and the experience was honestly almost the exact opposite of what I was expecting – disappointing. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, seeing my family and friends was beyond worth it, I just had no idea I’d be checking into what felt like a hotel rather than the place where I’d spent the past 18 years of my life. 

I guess everyone has this image in their heads of a grand entrance when they’re returning home from college. You picture your family ecstatic to see you, and the excitement that comes with getting to sleep in your own bed. The reality of it is that your family gets used to your presence after about an hour and you learn that it’s hard to sleep in a bed you haven’t touched in months. 

The strangest thing is that some parts actually do feel normal. The first time a familiar view came across my windshield as I got closer to my town gave me the strongest sense of normalcy I felt all break. Sitting in my favorite coffee shop seemed as though nothing had changed since I left, and that was more comforting than I could’ve ever anticipated. 

But then I returned to my house to the feeling that I had outgrown my old life. 

I suppose that isn’t all bad, really. It’s sort of comforting in a way. 

I’m supposed to be outgrowing my old life, my old room, my old hometown, even my old favorite coffee shop. I’m supposed to be expanding my horizons and becoming my own person beyond the high school me I had become so used to. 

I’m not going to lie to you – it sucks. It really, really sucks. The yearning for the way things used to be and that fear of leaving your childhood all behind absolutely sucks. 

However, I’m trying to keep telling myself that it’s reassuring to feel this way. To feel as though you’re a guest in your own home means that maybe college is becoming a new one. 

We find comfort in the places we love, the places we feel safe in. I’d like to think that that’s what Miami is becoming for me; a new place to call home. 

Honestly, it’s a little hard to admit that I missed my dorm and even my bed at Miami, but I did. I missed my friends and the way there seems to always be something to do. I missed Bagel and Deli and even the dining hall (somewhat). I missed the Saturday morning farmer’s market and, perhaps, my new favorite coffee shop Kofenya. 

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Part of growing up is realizing that it’s okay to fall in love with new places, new people and new norms. That doesn’t mean that all of your “old” loves cease to exist; you’re just opening your eyes to more of the world. 

As disappointing as it is to feel like I’m visiting my house instead of returning home, I find it nice in a strange sort of way. Almost like I’m accomplishing something – almost like Miami is now a home to me, too.

calesae@miamioh.edu 

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