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Leaving Gambier and Other Related Fears

As a freshman, I have spent the last two and a half months adjusting to living on my own. I have spent hours deciding the best time to get up in the mornings, if getting out of bed to make it to Peirce for breakfast is worth it, and running my schedule with no help from anyone else. I have just gotten used to being in charge of myself.

Now, I am gearing up to leave for home for the first time, preparing to go home to a more structured life than I have here. I have to remember to ask to leave the house, I have to tell people where I’m going, when I’m going, and can I borrow the car for a while? I have a very strange feeling that this trip home is about to be a bigger adjustment than I think.

Thanksgiving Break is not that long of a break, but it’s just long enough that I will have to readjust to family life and living with people who are not my own age.

I’m excited, don’t get me wrong, but there is also a part of me that is slightly scared to go home this break.

Obviously, I’m excited to see my dogs, my parents, and my sister. Okay, so mainly my dogs, but shh, don’t tell my parents. I can’t wait to sleep in my bed (the bed that is not a dorm room’s plastic, blue bed) and to have my own room. I can picture myself driving my car, belting out only the best music and drinking coffee from the best coffee shop. I’m glad to be getting out of Gambier to see friends and enjoy a nice Turkey Day with the people I love.

But then, I find myself taking a minute to really think about this. The homesickness I’ve felt, the homesickness that I’ve kind of just gotten over, is about to come rushing back to me so fast. What if I get home and I don’t want to come back? I love it here, I do, but deep in my core there is an incessant question about whether or not I will love coming back here after going home for a while. And what if I’m a completely different person now – full of subtle changes that have affected that perfect high school girl that everyone remembers? This is the unlikeliest of options, but it still nags at me.

Oh, the stress. I have already begun to think about what clothes I’m taking home, what I’ll wear on the plane, and what I definitely shouldn’t wear. How much coffee/tea is too much coffee/tea? I’ve forgotten. How much sleep is too much sleep to be appropriate when family is in town? I mean, is it rude to sleep until 2 PM if we have guests in the house? What is it like to be a college student living at home again?

People have tried to explain to me that it won’t be as bad as I think; they tell me that it’ll be fine, and all my worry will have been for nothing. But I’m a worrier, an over-thinker. In these types of situations, that’s a horrible thing to be.

Here I am, only hours away from break, 40% excited and 60% nervous/scared/worried.

On the surface, I know it’ll be fine. I’ll get home to hugs and kisses, cuddles from the dogs, and wide smiles, and then I’ll come back to Kenyon to finish the semester, and all will be well. I know that all my fears are really for naught. I’m worrying over nothing.

But below the surface, all my worrying about worrying is making the worrying worse.

In typical me-fashion, though, I’ll tamp down the worry until I get home, and get to eat stuffing, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. I’ll wait until break is almost over, and the only real thing I need to worry about is whether or not I need to go to the gym on Friday to get rid of all those deliciously dangerous calories.




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