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First Year Transitions to and from College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brown chapter.

Going Home For the First Time: 

A home cooked meal, clothes that are ACTUALLY clean, a hug from your parents, there are a lot of things to look forward to on your first home visit after being away at college. Being in the comfort of your own home with some peace and quiet feels like a physical breath of fresh air. However, one of the more uneasy elements of going home for fall break is seeing your home friends and comparing college experiences. People are not super honest about the lows that they experience is college. This can make you feel insecure about your college or your life at school but in reality, it shouldn’t. All of the hard things you go through in college are universal and even the girl who claims to be “thriving” has felt unhappy at some point. The best thing to do is to be transparent about your experience and hopefully that will encourage others to do the same. It makes it way harder to hangout with your friends from home when you feel like you need to maintain this wall between you and your real experience.

Enjoy yourself when you’re home. Let yourself enjoy the experiences of your friends without feeling competitive or jealous. There’s no right way to be “doing college.”

Going Back to School After the First Visit Home:

It seems almost unimaginable having to return to your clustered, less familiar dorm room and not secured social life after spending your first weekend back in the comfort of your home with family and close friends. Once you get back to school, to some extent, it feels as though you are resetting your life and are back to where you started in September. Being reminded of your life at home is like a scab that re-opens: you have just healed from two months of adjusting, but after being home, the wound feels reopened. The lesion has to re-heal as you once again embrace your new life and overcome the loneliness that resurfaces in what may still feel like a new environment at school. Not only do you miss the people who made home feel so effortless and comfortable, but also the little things that you may have taken for granted like home cooked meals, privacy, and no flip flops in the shower. You may ask yourself, why am I not excited to be back? Or, do I not like it here? These doubts are normal and part of the process of acclimating to college life. 

On the other hand, there are many positive aspects of returning to school. You regain a sense of independence as everything is on your own terms, there are no obligations besides the ones you impose on yourself, and there are no parents to suffocate or overwhelm you. Once again, you escape your chaotic home life and re-immerse yourself in the welcoming Brown community. Regardless of whatever your particular experience may be, going back to school is complicated and inevitably brings a mix of emotions. 

Student at Brown University class of 2023
I was born and grew up in Los Angeles, California, which had a huge impact on the person I am and the things I care about. I graduated from Brentwood School, and am thrilled to be at Brown! From a young age, writing, fashion, and lifestyle blogging have been some of my strongest passions. Between working for my school newspaper for four years of high school and interning at the lifestyle blog "GOOP," I have really discovered that this is something I am excited about pursuing. Naturally, "her campus" is the perfect platform to extend my interests, and I am excited to explore Brown and share my findings!
Caleigh is the Co-Campus Correspondent of the Brown University chapter of Her Campus. She is in the class of 2021 studying History and French. She has previously held an internship position at Latina Magazine and worked as a social media editor for the Brown Daily Herald. She currently works as a digital marketing consultant for SiO Beauty. Caleigh grew up in New York City, where in her free time she explored neighborhoods looking for the best sushi and pizza, sharing her experiences through her food Instagram @food_overdudes.