Depending on how far away they come from, Thanksgiving break is usually the first time that out of state students get to go back home all semester. While many of their in state counterparts got to visit home on Labor Day or any other weekend, out of state students are stuck at their college until a break comes along that's long enough to be worth the trek home.
Many college students have been ready for this long break ever since the second week, but for out of state students, this means it's time to get packing. Out of state students don't have the luxury of forgetting anything in the dorm. No one wants to have to come back to forget the brush they forgot, but it's much easier for in state students to go back and get it. The packing process can be tiresome and tedious, but it's all worth it, because for out of state students, it means that finally they get to go back to something familiar.
As an out of state student, the anticipation of home is killing you as you ride in a car for several hours, or even possibly fly on a plane. You begin to wonder what all has changed since you left. You spend all your time thinking about everything you want to do with your friends and family when you get there, yet the hours just seem to drag on.
When you finally arrive, you feel relieved, but there is something a bit unsettling. Your old home doesn't feel as much like home as it used to before you left for college. It's almost as if you left a piece of yourself back in your college state. You try to ignore this feeling as you greet your parents.
At home, you realize that your family has already adjusted to you not being there by now. It's not that they have forgotten about you (after all, they did need to learn how to manage the house with one less kid — or sibling — around), but it feels awkward for everyone to have to readjust you back into the family picture.
Even your room feels different. You missed it while being away at college, yet it's hard to get used to since you spent the last three months living and sleeping in somewhere else.
By the time you meet up with your friends, you all have realized that all of you have changed. You've all made new friends while away at college. It's not that you've replaced each other or anything, but you do have to share your friends with more people now, and it can be hard to come to terms with, even if you are extremely happy for them. It also can be difficult if you're one of the only (or the only) one of your friends who went out of state, so it's likely that the rest of them have met up together without you while you were still at school. When the conversation inevitably turns to talk of college, you have no one there who understands what it's been like for you. Despite all of these conflicting feelings, you are, nonetheless, happy to see all of them.
As your vacation comes to a close, you realize that something has been feeling "off" about home. It wasn't a bad time, but it just wasn't the same. You can't tell if you're excited or dreading having to go back to college, or whether or not you would rather stay back. You start to feel that you just don't fit in at home anymore.
Luckily this is not the case. Sure, home has changed since you've been gone, but that doesn't mean you don't belong anymore. Just because things are different doesn't mean that you're not welcome there. And you probably don't feel quite right at home because, like I mentioned earlier, you did leave a piece of yourself at your other home. You may feel like your in a sort of limbo stage where you don't really fit in at your college quite yet, but you don't really fit in at home anymore. You might never find your perfect fit since you have two completely different homes, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't make the most of your time in both places.
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