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My New Perspective of Home Since Moving to College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

How I felt like a stranger in my own home

I was so excited to go home for the weekend. I got to see my friends and family, and I didn’t have to use directions everywhere I went. I knew the familiar roads and their speed limits, because I’ve driven on them countless times. 

When I got home and went inside, most of my excitement dissipated. I no longer felt like I belonged. I felt like a guest. Things had been moved around and redecorated, and it felt like unfamiliar territory. Initially, it made me sad because I’d lived there for so much of my life. 

Later that night, I went out with my friends. Hanging out with them felt so natural, just like when I lived there. While I’ve been gone, I’ve learned to appreciate the simple moments of just driving down the highway in the comfortable presence of people you’ve grown up with and who know you so well. 

When I was trying to fall asleep in my bed, I was having trouble and even kind of missed my mattress topper on my twin bed in my dorm room. It was strange to be in a room that used to be so familiar to me. I was looking at the pile of stuffed animals in the corner and the pictures on my wall. There was a sense of comfort after a couple of months away, yet still some hesitancy to be back. 

I love going home to the place that gave me so many happy memories, but visiting made me realize that my new life is in Wisconsin. My hometown will always have a special place in my heart, of course. Visiting is always a good time, but I realized that I get to make my own path and future. It was weird to acknowledge that time didn’t stop when I left and resumed while I was driving back into my hometown on the highway. 

The biggest struggle in moving away from my hometown has been accepting that I have a new place in the world that’s not where I spent my childhood. I may return in the future to live there, but my home right now is Madison. Although this was a struggle at first, I find it exciting to be forging my new way while keeping the memories of the great times that led me here.

Gabby Guzman

Wisconsin '26

Gabby is a current first-year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is majoring in Consumer Behavior and Marketplace Studies and Communications. She is originally from Plymouth, Minnesota, which means she is a die-hard Vikings fan. Her interests include watching sports, spending time with family and friends, and traveling. Gabby is so excited to be welcomed into the Her Campus community and have the opportunity to share her ideas and experiences with everyone!