College is a magical time where you’re not a kid anymore, but you’re also not quite an adult yet. You (pretty much) take care of yourself, live your own life, but also probably still get help from your parents and don’t have the biggest of responsibilities yet. My favorite joke to make with my parents is: when I come home for the summer, I tell them to treat me like a guest – since I’m barely there as it is, and that means I don’t have to do any chores. I doubt they find it as funny as I do, but my first time coming home for winter break really did have me feeling like a guest in the house I grew up in.
Your room becomes the low-key storage room/gym/office/spare room, etc. Contents of cabinets switch around, blankets are now kept in a different space… it’s all kind of jarring the first time you realize it. The weirdest part for me was the feeling that my “home” was no longer my home. And yet, school didn’t quite feel like home yet, either. The second time around it didn’t feel so strange, but I often catch myself referring to Miami as home without realizing it.
Then you realize you basically have two sets of everything. Home friends (and family) and school friends, home bedroom and school bedroom, home favorite-things-to-do and school-favorite-things-to-do; it’s easy to just focus in on one or the other, but it’s really important to try and find a balance. I make sure that when I’m at school I talk to my parents at least once a week (it’s almost always more than that) and talk to my other family members at least once a month. It sounds kind of ridiculous to have a schedule like that, but I am a planner after all – and it works. My best piece of advice is to take it all in stride and really be present in whatever is happening in your life.