Back in my College City After Being Home for 10.5 months

Like many others, I flew back to my out-of-state university in early January, leaving my family after the holidays. Throughout my college career traveling back and forth from my home in Washington state  to California over summers and holiday’s has been pretty typical, except for this year, when I lived at home for nearly 10.5 months. I came back home when the pandemic first became a big problem in our country in the beginning of March. Now, mid January, I am finally readjusting to the idea of having my independence as I have moved back into my San Francisco apartment and am once again living away from my parents, completing my final semester of undergrad.

Being home for 10.5 months was unexpected and I had not spent that much time there since being in high school. While I loved spending quality time with my family, I felt my independence was extremely compromised which frustrated me at times. 

While it was a complex decision to move back to San Francisco and leave my family during this difficult time, I ultimately feel refreshed knowing I can take care of myself and live on my own once again 

As I write this piece, it has been exactly 3 weeks since I landed back in SFO. I remember slightly panicking as my parents had dropped me off at the airport, suddenly just wanting to stay in the comfort of my home and assume the lifestyle I had been living there for nearly a year. This transition has been overwhelming in many ways and one which I can compare to my freshman year. While I now am much more familiar with San Francisco, my school and Zoom, the transition back to being independent was not what I expected. 

Currently, both of my roommates are not back in our apartment, I knew I would be going from living with my parents –  always having them and my dog always around – to suddenly being completely by myself. 

I got so comfortable with living at home and having my parents do simple things like food shopping and cooking for me, I fell back into the routine of being taken care of in this way – assuming the role of the child again. I think that when I am at home, no matter how old I am, taking a step back from my independence with simple life tasks will always come naturally. Although I consider myself a fairly independent and self-motivated individual, old habits arose during my time back with my parents.

 Moving back to living independently has fully allowed me the freedom and responsibility I lacked. I have recently started journaling what I am grateful for every day to constantly remind myself how much I have, a personal attempt to recognize what I take for granted in life. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to move back to my  apartment and been given this opportunity to continue my independence. During my transition, I had a few friends also going through similar experiences. Adaptability is something key to my process. While we will all go through so many life transitions, and transformations, staying open-minded and expressing gratitude was something I worked hard to remind myself of and continue to do. With school back in full swing, and my in-person internship now a possibility, I am continuing to work on balancing hours on Zoom, with being more responsible and living independently as an individual.