“Isn’t it weird that soon our rooms at home will never really feel like our rooms again?”
I could lie to you and say that I didn’t have a mini heart attack when I heard my friend utter this sentence the other day. Instead, I’m thinking it might be better to get this conundrum out in the open amongst my peers, A.K.A. confirm that others want to run home and be fed soup by their mommies in their childhood beds just as much as I do at the moment.
Obviously as we get older (and, for my Class of 2013 peeps, approach the swirling, ambiguous abyss that is post-graduate life) almost everything in our lives is on the brink of change. Our daily routines will most likely go from partying and studying – in that order of importance – to actually having a job, or another round of schooling, or something else that yanks us out of that blissful bubble of time when we get to simply think of ourselves as college students and therefore not real people. But something that, until recently, I never really thought about changing was where I would call home. Sure, I knew I would eventually have to move somewhere new. But ‘home’ and good ole area code 201 in New Jersey have always been synonymous in my mind, and the time when the two would separate for good always seemed so far away that it basically didn’t exist.
Now as my older brothers, cousins, and high school friends start to move away from our hometown so nonchalantly, establishing new lives in different cities and even countries, I find myself feeling embarrassed that I don’t even feel remotely close to calling any other place home. Is it supposed to be easier than this to let go of a childhood? Why is everyone around me so able to uproot themselves and adjust to living somewhere completely new? When you’re no longer a kid but still don’t quite feel like an adult, where are you supposed to be? And am I somehow stunted because my heart still lingers in the places where I grew up?
Whenever I start to feel thoughts like these creeping up in the back of my mind, though, I quickly remind myself of one simple fact: GROWING UP IS HARD. Just ask Growing Pains, Cory Matthews, or any bildungsroman ever, for that matter. Heck, even Hercules, the most badass of Greek demigods, struggled with it – he had a whole (amazing) song dedicated to his quest to “find where he belongs!” (You’ll be singing that all day now. You’re welcome.)
So, fellow collegiate kiddos, if you are adjusting fantastically to our newfound adulthood and have no problems redefining home for yourselves, great! But if not, that’s OK too. If you aren’t able to effortlessly let go of your former life overnight – trust me, you’re not alone. Luckily we have each other to unite in weird, post-adolescent limbo, to help each other as we stumble towards being grown-ups and calling new places our own, and–let’s be real here – to indulge in the occasional All-Day 1990’s Disney Movie Marathon when we aren’t quite ready to arrive there yet.