Going into college, I expected to love every aspect of this new experience. I had always been told by my parents how college was the best time of their lives, but after spending a week here, I couldn’t see how this could be possible. I had met a lot of new people and made several friends, yet I felt that I didn’t belong here. I couldn’t stop thinking about my family I had left behind- my mother, my sister, my three dogs, and my nephew. I felt as if I was abandoning my family solely for my personal gain, despite knowing that they were happy I was getting an education. Every soccer ball I kicked, every bite of dining hall food I took, every step I took on campus made me feel guilty for not being there for my family.
I went home the second weekend and expected to feel comfort at my house, yet I felt the opposite. For some reason, I felt as though I belonged back at college. Torn asunder, split between two worlds, I was in a rather poor emotional state. I talked with my out-of-state roommate about how he felt about being so far from home, and he gave me some words that resonated. I was in college for my family at home, and it was also possible to have family here. I thought about how I was being a role model for my nephew, and how I would be able to provide for my family members in the future. I also came to accept that I couldn’t stay at home forever, but took comfort in the fact that home was always a part of me. I know that for many, college can cause an internal upheaval, but I want everyone to know that they belong, and that even though you may not be with your family, your family will always be with you.