Freshman Year v. Sophomore Year: It's OK If You Don't Want to Go Home

As sophomore year inches closer and closer to its end, I can’t help but compare it to the last. Going into your freshman year of college, most of the advice you receive is adults, relatives and older friends warning you how difficult the first year transition is. Rarely do they focus on how great sophomore year is after you’ve made it through. This seems to be a trend that friends and acquaintances all can agree on: life feels different once you've made school your home.

Everyone has a different freshman experience. Some are worse than others, but most people face the same transitional struggles. You miss your family, friends and how simple life was living at home. You miss the familiarity of your hometown and your classmates. You long for breaks that you can spend curled up on your favorite couch with the blanket that smells like home with your dog curled up at your feet. Breaks mean spending as much time as possible with your best friends whom you’ve grown up with. But sophomore year, the desire to go home subsides. School becomes home. At least it did for me.

Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of life on campus with a secure group of friends, sophomore year is all about enjoying that. It only gets better. Going back to your family for breaks begins to feel strange, because you're leaving one home to go to another.

Breaks are meant for spending time with friends and family. Sophomore year, you see less and less of your closest friends from high school. The distance between you is obvious as you tell stories, catching up on your time spent apart. You hear yourself talking about your friends from school the same way you talked about your home friends at the beginning of freshman year. You find yourself referencing inside jokes and using the same phrases as people you surround yourself with at school.

Your friends from home feel the same way as they update you on their lives and new relationships they have made. You once thought nobody could replace them, but now you feel the same comfort with friends from school. It's hard to understand, because you spent years of your grade school life forging friendships that brought you to where you are today. 

When you realize what that uncomfortable, distant feeling is, you begin to appreciate where life has taken you. You remember where you were freshman year, lost and homesick. It was once difficult to head back to school after a week spent with hometown friends, visiting all of your old favorite places and hanging out like you used to. Now, part of you would rather stay at school to keep in the groove and hang out with your new besties. 

Nobody can replace the friends you grew up with. They shaped the person you are at this point in your life and have seen the best and worst of you. Keep up with your friends from different schools as much as you can. It's easy to lose touch every so often, so remember to reach out. Everyone is busy, but the best friendships are strengthened with distance and time spent apart. 

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