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What Does “Home” Mean to a College Student?

For most college students, going home usually means going back to the place where they grew up or where their immediate family currently lives. Yet recently, I’ve noticed that many people don’t see their house as their actual home. To be entirely honest, I feel that way too. Being in your own space in college and being able to have full autonomy over what you do and how you live is a feeling that is often not replicated at “home.”

It’s so difficult to pinpoint whether or not students consider college their home, though. I mean, when I’m walking around campus, at class or getting food, when I say that I’m going to head back home, I mean my dorm. But, when I am heading away for a break, I say I am going “home,” the place where my family lives. This doesn’t always sit right with me because now, I feel more at home at school. All of my things are here, my friends are here, my job is here and essentially my new life is here. I feel guilty sometimes to think of my “home” as just my house that’s hours away from my actual life.

I noticed a lot of people feeling this way especially after coming back from Thanksgiving break. I heard from so many people that going home felt weird and didn’t really feel like their actual home and I think it’s because of all of the reasons I mentioned. Not only that, but it is completely fair to realize that after a certain point you have grown out of your old space and have started to flourish into a new one. We shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about that growth. Sure, we probably miss our families, but that doesn’t mean we have to long to be with them all the time anymore.

So, it’s okay if you feel more at home at college than you do with your family. Sometimes that space is what’s needed for us to grow and enjoy life to the fullest. Plus, having our own space to make mistakes and learn from them is such an important part of becoming an adult that we all need.

Madison Centeno is a freshman sociology major, who plans on double majoring in women's studies. When she isn't at protests or actively fighting for human rights, she is in her room studying or reading! She loves to write and share information about social injustices occurring worldwide. Follow her on Instagram @madisonrue190 to get to know her more!
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