As I type this article on my train back to Boston, I am leaving behind everything I have ever known — my family, my favorite coffee shop, past relationships, and old friends. As somebody who has always found safety and joy in my hometown, leaving is always bittersweet.
I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in an extremely loving and supportive family. They are my best friends, and I know that if I ever called them needing anything, they would pack everything and get in a car to drive five hours to see me. For this, I could not be more grateful.
But because of this same constant support system I’ve had for 18 years of my life, adjusting to living independently in college was a shock to me. I always thought of myself as an independent person at home, but not having my family physically there to fall back on whenever I needed them was a difficult realization.
I love my hometown of Princeton, New Jersey just as much as I love my family.
I miss the beauty of the suburbs and the excitement of the cute college town it surrounds, close enough to New York City to spend a day there but far enough to experience the lushness of New Jersey farmlands.
I miss my mother’s cooking, with her yellow tadka deals and butter paneer.
But I find myself reminiscing so much over the past that I forget to live in my present. I have to remind myself that I’ve worked for years to get into my dream university and am currently living the life I’ve always wanted.
How can we grow as individuals if we do not learn to find comfort in discomfort? How will hiding in the safety of home allow me to become the strong, independent, and courageous woman I always strive to be?
For me, embracing change is learning to find peace in the unknown. Despite it being a scary feeling, I am unbelievably excited to see where these next four years will take me.
For some, college may be a way to escape their hometowns and never look back, but I know now that I have two homes. Change is inevitable, but regardless, those who I love most will always be there for me. Now is just my chance to grow into the woman I was always destined to be!