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College is great. I love being able to go to and from my house at any time, without having to ask anyone. I love cooking for myself. I love being able to stay up late or go to sleep early and not have to worry about waking up my little brother in the room next door. College affords more freedoms than home and it feels good to “be living on my own”. But, I still miss home.
Sometimes it is good to have my parents “approve” of where I’m going and who I’m going with: am I making the right choice? How will this affect me? Even though I thoroughly enjoy my warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning or chicken at dinner, nothing can replace Mom’s egg casserole or Dad’s salmon with asparagus and brown rice. Home cooked food cannot compare. And maybe it’s best for my health that my brother’s room is next door, no one ever said staying up till 3 am and sleeping until 1 pm is an important habit to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle. But home is more than just these little perks; it’s the people. On Valentine’s Day, the very first person to wish me a “Happy Valentine’s Day” was my Dad followed by a cute picture of my pets from my Mom. Just this little text brought about a wave of nostalgia: when I was younger, my parents always made me feel extra loved on Valentine’s Day. Yes, it is a “couple’s” holiday to some extent, but my parents showed me that it’s more about the loved ones in your life. When my siblings and I came downstairs in the kitchen for breakfast before school, we would each find a big heart-shaped box of chocolates in our respective seats at the counter. This was from Dad. We would also each get a cute card, from Mom. And breakfast was extra special: something chocolatey (every kid’s dream breakfast). It’s the little things that I miss. I miss the way the house was decorated weeks before any major holiday. I miss coming home and having someone ask me how school was today and if I did well on my tests. I miss family dinners and silly stories about our day. There are some things that only your family can provide.
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There’s this misconception that if you miss home, then you’re not having a great college experience. However, the contrary may be more true. College is such a great time, you want to share it with your family. You want them to know all the wonderful things you’ve accomplished and all the exciting things you have planned. Equating your college experience with how much you miss home doesn’t make the experience a better or worse one. You could be having the time of your life, but still miss home. No matter how great the “mom” of your friend group is, she/he can’t replace your mom and what your mom does for you. There is no substitute. So, miss home proudly, guilt-free. Your family is wonderful and they love you no matter what.