"Home" For Fall Break

After what felt like an eternity, fall break had officialy arrived! After months of grinding through week after week, paper after paper, the time had come to pack up and head home. Since moving into my dorm in August, I had not been home. I live five hours away, so due to the long commute and not having a car, I never had the luxury of heading home. On top of not being home for almost 4 months, I had not seen my parents except through a screen.  

Getting ready to go home for the first time was both exciting, but at the same time nerve racking. What would be different? Who would I see? So many questions were zooming through my head. Besides the million thoughts running through my head, I had not even packed yet. Packing iteself takes so. much. energy. I did NOT expect to be so stressed about what to take home. Although I was only home for six days, I had no idea what I would wear! How many pants should I bring home.. jeans, leggings, shorts? What type of shirts would I wear? I knew I would dress up on Thanksigiving, but what about the other days? Would I lounge around my house all week, or go out with my friends.

Not only were clothes taking up a lot of my bag space, but also shoes were something I overpacked. What shoes go with what outfits? I need tennis shoes, boots, would I wear my vans? I mean might as well throw in my shower shoes for the heck of it. After hours of throwing and adding clothes into my bag, I forced the bag shut and threw it to the side. After grabbing my five bags filled with everything I had to surive the week, and probably even the zombie apocalypse, I hauled down my dorm stairs and got into my rides car to depart for home. 

The five hour commute felt more like a ten hour drive with the never ending corn fields as my view and not to mention there was no aux cord. Let me tell ya, I really take listening to ad-free music for granted. When I arrived into my hometown, my friend and I met my parents at a local resturaunt. We arrived first, so we got a table and once I saw them walk in, I ran and gave them a hug. I was so happy to see them and it felt nice to have someone be so excited to see me, even if it was just my parents. That night was filled with catching up, talking about my classes, new friends, and how much I loved the University of Iowa. Even though I was home, I had not actaully been into my house yet. Walking into my childhood home for the first time in 3 and a half months was bittersweet. With it being just my mom and dad at home, the place was way cleaner than it had ever been when my siblings and I were present. I was impressed with how organized everything was.

The thing I missed the most was the smell of my own home. You know that distinct smell that every home has, that's what I missed. Walking down the stairs to my room, I opened the door and was appalled to see that what was once my room was now just a made bed with the furniture I didnt take with me. No pictures on the wall, no lights, nothing. It hit me that even though this may be my bedroom here, it really isn't mine anymore. 

Being at home was nice, but it felt weird living out of a suitcase in my own home. I was taken back to my high school days where my parents were always around and I no longer had the freedom of going anywhere without telling someone where I will be. When leaving to go to the grocery store, I saw half of the town and people from the community everywhere. I was not used to walking into a place and knowing every single person present. It was then that I realized that although I had been gone for only 3 months, I had made huge changes in my life and grew up a little. I went from living in a small town and knowing everyone, to being just a single individual attending the University of Iowa just like thousands of other students. I'm not saying living in a small town for the rest of your life is a bad thing, but going back home made me realize why I left in the first place. I have dreams to live in a big city or travel to places that people always aspire to visit. I wanted to take a leap of faith and see what my full potential was. I will forever be grateful to my parents for raising me in a small town community, but I am also grateful that they raised me to be a person who dreams big. With their support, I know I am able to go forth and chase those dreams. 

So yeah, being home for fall break was nice, and having home cooked meals for a week will be missed. The mental break away from school was needed, but being home made me realize how much I love where I am at in my life right now. How proud I am for making it this far and accomplishing so much on my own. It only makes me excited and more motivated to continue to pursure my dreams. Looking back on the three months here at Iowa, I have met people I never thought I'd meet, particpated in events I would have never have had the opportunity to particpate in, and challenged my abilites more than ever. Even though I love seeing my family and there is nothing better than a hug from my mom, I have to admit that Iowa City has become my new home, and I wouldnt want it any other way. 

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