This past year has been a world of change. I graduated high school, moved away from home, and started college. I am now about 1,055 miles away from everything I have ever known, living in Bloomington, Indiana. That doesn’t sound too crazy, right?
It took about two weeks of exploring my new home for me to realize that I may be in over my head. I missed the normality and the comfort of my own bed, my mom, and the rocky mountain sunsets of Colorado. From then on, I did not go one day without talking to my best friends and my mom about how hard this transition was for me. I felt alone and lost on such a big campus in the middle of the Midwest. To make it even worse, all my friends were having the time of their lives in their new college experiences. Why was my experience so terrible?
I came home for a long weekend in the early fall and it was much needed. While I was home, I had a nice break. I went on a little hike with my mom and cuddled with my dogs. With the help of my friends, I decided that when I went back to school, I was going to make the best of it and Indiana was going to be my place.
The leaves started turning colors, the humidity started to fade away, and the weather was finally bearable. I started to pay better attention when I was walking to class at how beautiful the campus really was— the limestone buildings and huge trees. I started to remember why I chose to attend IU in the first place.
Soon after, I participated in the IU Dance Marathon, a fundraiser for the kids and families of Riley Hospital for children. I danced for 12 hours and this became my favorite memory of the entire semester. It was amazing to feel apart of something, especially something for such a great cause. The rest of the semester went by quickly and it was Christmas break before I knew it.
I came back in early January for recruitment and I finally met my people. I used to hate hearing people say that their sorority was the best part of their college experience just because I was not a part of it. Then I met my new sisters and I remembered what it’s like to have a home-base of friends. This reminded me that it doesn’t matter where you are if you surround yourself with people that love you and support you. That’s really all you need.
Now, only a month into the semester, I have never been happier. My homesickness for the rocky mountain high never really goes away, but I have learned how to adapt to it. The one thing that reminds me to get through it is that you can find beauty anywhere. In my opinion, nothing compares to home. However, you can always find beauty in the smallest of things. Whether it was the little care packages that my mom sent me, catching the bus just in time for class, treating myself to Noodles and Company macaroni and cheese, or the seeing the sun shine for the first time in weeks, once I slowed down and actually appreciated all of these seemingly insignificant things, life became worlds better.
This being said, I’ll always be excited to head home and sleep in my own bed. Nonetheless, I’ve found that a big part of growing up is to bloom where you are planted and take the bad with the good. After all, if we did not have the struggles, we would never be able to appreciate the blessings.