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Freshman year, I never thought I would call a dorm room the size of a closet, my home. And I was right—I didn’t. But fast forward to sophomore year where I’m confronted with a decent looking apartment that may have questionable utilities. It was definitely a level up from a closet; the kitchen even had an island!

So yeah, I am  content. School came and homework hit me like a freight train but soon it became a routine I learned to sort of actually enjoy. Days turned into weeks and soon two whole months passed. But here was the difference between my freshman year and now: I didn’t visit my family once the  entire time.

I get it, for some that may be nothing. Most of my friends are from different states so they deal with not seeing their family for more than two months. My situation might sound pretty eh compared to others, but that two month period made me realize something pretty nice about myself. I can be independent.

Ever since I was little, I was always that one kid who denied even the possibility of growing up. The world was a scary place in my mind and hiding behind my mom seemed like the best way to go. Middle school and even high school didn’t seem to faze my avoidance to anything adult-like. I got a job (and almost died from my fear of the interview) but I still lived with my family so after a couple of weeks, I was fine.

And then college came. I thought I was going to pass out my first day freshman year (fortunately, I didn’t), but I did cry and felt horribly sad for what felt like two weeks. For that year, I constantly visited my family every weekend I could, and so home was still the house in a gas-stop town that’s so little, you have to avoid Walmart on your bad days.

Somewhere along the way, I realized  due to how busy I was that visiting family couldn’t be a daily occurrence, and I magically turned into a sort-of-adult. And now, I have two homes!

My dinky apartment won’t be my home forever, but with the friends I make during this time, it makes it worth calling it a home. I still miss my family and I call them, but right now I can say I’m pretty okay on my own. The 10-year-old inside me still wants to hide behind my mom every now and then but I think I got it covered.

I hope all of you are doing alright with this whole independent thing (because I’m still working on it).

Diana Arellano Barajas is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Arizona State University. She LOVES creating: graphics, animation, video editing, it's all fair game! Originally from a small town in Mexico, Diana currently resides in Phoenix. In her free time, if she isn't found attached to a book, she's writing about everything and anything including experimenting with visual content. Excited to write for HerCampus, Diana's ready to make readers smile, laugh, and possibly cry (in a good way). Feel free to contact her here: [email protected]
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