Missing the College Experience

When I first began my journey to college, I was quite nervous about what was to come. I felt an immense amount of pressure to make the most of my time there and have an authentic “college experience” over the course of my four years. As I settled in, began classes, and made friends, I found that the “college experience” is made up of the little things you encounter every day. Having to finish my freshman year and begin my sophomore year at home, I have found myself missing those experiences all the time. Friends Walking Together 3 Breanna Coon / Her Campus

About a year ago was my first ever CLU Homecoming. The other day, I found myself looking at pictures and videos of the weekend and feeling simultaneously very joyful and lonely while reminiscing on these happy moments of the past. I often talk with my friends about how much we miss being on campus. Of course, while we miss each other especially, we also simply miss being around other people. While we are getting by in our zoom classes, it is not the same as sitting with classmates in the same room and being able to connect with each other in person. Being away from campus has made us all realize just how much we miss all the little things. 

    So, you might be asking, what exactly do I miss? Here are just some of the many things I miss about being on CLU’s campus, some I’m sure others can relate to:

  1. The bunnies I saw hopping by in the dark as my roommates and I walked back to the dorms after Zumba classes.
  2. The weekend errand runs with friends, filling the backseat with instant ramen, toilet paper, and candy we didn’t need. 
  3. The long wait at Starbucks — which to be fair, I usually despised, but would gladly return to now — for a coffee and toasted bagel. 
  4. Walking along the spine, saying hello to friends I passed as I made my way to class.
  5. The sunny walks down Avenida de Los Arboles, heading to Trader Joes and picking up lunch from 3 Amigos.
  6. First day of school pictures in front of Gumby.
  7. The sound of frogs at night in the spring.
  8. Movie nights with friends, complete with throwing popcorn around the room and snuggling up beneath layers of blankets.
  9. Walking back from improv at 1 a.m., completely exhausted but still shaking off the laughter. 
  10. Silent walks through Kingsmen Park, looking around at all the students strolling past, knowing I was lucky to be part of such an incredible community. 

Friends Pizza College Molly Longest / Her Campus

The best part of Homecoming weekend last year was getting home from Monte Carlo, taking off our dresses and makeup, ordering a pizza, and staying up to watch movies. Though the football games and dances can be great, there’s nothing better than the simple moments of bonding with friends. Those are the moments I am patiently — okay, sometimes impatiently — waiting to return to. 

Although it may not feel like it yet, one day we will all be able to return to campus. Some freshmen may be missing out on their first year of college, and some seniors losing their last. Each of us is losing some of our college experience, and it is hard to come to terms with that. However, I just keep picturing how great our return will be. One day, we will all get to return to those late-night study sessions in the student union and the movie marathons with our friends. We will get through this difficult time, and we will do it together. There’s a lot I miss about being on campus, but no matter how long it takes us to get back, Gumby will be waiting for us with open arms.