I haven’t posted in over a month, very unusual for me, and my apologies to my reader are sincere. But life has taken on a…. mind of its own (perhaps? if that makes any sense). So now, I’m writing from my living room back home home watching USC beat UCLA football and thinking about the future.
For me, coming home my first semester of my freshman year was a nuisance. I wanted to be at college, experiencing the freedom, loving the autonomy of my own space, my own room, my own ideas. As an honors student, it threw me off to come home (which for me could only happen on holidays as I live 300+ miles away from campus), and not have my study space.
This year is has been very different. I was never homesick my freshman year, and this year I wasn’t exactly homesick, but I missed my family, and my friends, and I started to really appreciate my home home for what it was. It was so easy for me my freshman to call APU my home. It’s just that welcoming. I felt so comfortable and like I really was home. But now, as a sophomore and living truly on my own in an apartment in one of APU on-campus apartment complexes called University Park, it’s been a change in my attitude. My apartment truly feels like home, and during the day I can’t wait to get back to my place with my wonderful roommates and just relax and do homework, but there is something about having my own place, maybe it’s the kitchen and the attempts to recreate my mom’s cooking, or trying to decorate and make it feel welcoming, that made me appreciative of my childhood home.
I write this because it’s important to be excited about college, about creating a place for yourself in the world apart from the places you’ve maybe known all your life. But it’s also really important to spend time with family, and come home from school understanding that while you were making a place for yourself and growing and changing, the world at home kept going, and that families and church youth groups and high school friends kept growing and changing. As a freshman realizing this seemed both obvious and daunting, and I didn’t want to think about it. This year I’ve realized that part of maturity is recognizing and embracing that the world around me is continuing to grow older as well and that is actually an exciting reality. It means that dry old hometowns are made new again, that I have new people to meet in the faces and the hearts of old friends, and that family relationships can be still be invested in, can still be changed.
The semester is almost over, three more weeks until I’m back home for winter break, and I’m excited about heading into the future, but tuckered out by the workload this semester. Another great things about breaks is just that…. they are breaks. They are a chance to breath and refuel (on yummy food) and sleep (a much needed thing) and write a blog about appreciating where you are at, where ever you are.