I have been more nostalgic than usual lately, which means I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at old pictures and remembering all the good moments before my freshman year of college.
Not that I haven’t experienced good memories here too, but I have struggled with this transition more than I would like to admit. The first semester of college is new and exciting- once that fades away, you realize that there is no going back. You’re here physically, but your mind is either stuck in the past or looking too far ahead into the future.
Looking forward can be difficult when you miss the past. What’s even more difficult is trying to be in the moment.
I’ve always been someone who likes to plan ahead and make sure I know what’s going to happen, whether it’s the next day or the next week. Lately I’ve been feeling stuck in limbo. I keep looking back on what I used to do with my friends from home, the teammates I used to run with and just the comfort of coming home everyday. If I’m not looking back, I’m looking way too far ahead and worrying about things not going the way I want them to.
I’ve been trying to silence all of that and just live in the right now. I think of how blessed I am to be where I am, at a good school with good friends. But there is always something nagging me in the back of my mind- the fact is, I miss being home.
What many college students won’t tell you is that adjusting to college is a longer process than you think. You have to change your study habits, your eating habits, you have to remember to clean and do laundry, you have to deal with getting almost no alone time. Some people say that after a month you’ll be fine. And for the most part you will be.
It’s okay to reminisce and to miss your hometown. It’s okay to not be having the “time of your life” in college. I have to keep reminding myself that college won’t be the best years of my life, and I hope it isn’t. While I’m enjoying college, at the same time I’m starting to realize that I have lost something and gained something. I have gained a new adventure with different challenges and freedom to accompany that.
But I have lost some things too. I have lost the privilege of coming home whenever I feel like it. I have lost a sense of privacy. I have lost a sense of direction, of where my life is supposed to be going. I have lost feelings- like how it felt to run with a team, the excitement of getting ready for prom, the relief of having institute days and not going to school.
I know that in time, that I will have gained so many wonderful things from college that I will no longer feel this nostalgic. One day I know that everything will be fine. There is always something in our pasts that we miss, but if we continue to stay in our memories we will miss present life. And that’s not something I want to skip. Just take it one day at a time. You’ll get to where you need to be, I promise.