Home Bittersweet Home

Being home after a year of living at school is a bit of an adjustment. We made new friends during year, had new experiences, and started figuring out who we are and what we want for our futures. Returning home is strange because we return to the life we were once anxious to leave when we went off to college. Of course we missed our family and friends when we left in the fall, but once you’ve adjusted to a new lifestyle, it can be strange to go back. Being home for a few months in a place where you made so many memories can make us very susceptible to nostalgia. While it can be nice to look back on the memories, we don’t want to get too caught up in the past. We took a step forward into our futures when we left for college, and we wouldn’t want to take a step backwards.

This summer I’m working about 40 hours a week at a front desk job. Along with that I am going to be starting an internship that will hopefully help me in setting myself and future up for success. In between working I usually spend time with my friends or family. Spending time with my friends is amazing. My friends and I have known each other for at least half of our lives or even longer, and they are some of the greatest people I know.

Despite knowing them for so long, I try not to get pulled into reliving the past. It’s fun to laugh at inside jokes and other memories, but it can be dangerous if we choose to relive the past. We all changed in some way when we went our different ways to college. My friends and I stayed very close in college, frequently texting, calling, and FaceTiming. It’s awesome to be able to watch them continue to develop into even more wonderful people.

While I know I have made some friends for life even though I’m still young, we never know what exactly the future holds for us when it comes to our friends. Friends will come and go as the years go on; some will stick by your side through thick and thin. Uncertainty is something that can be scary, especially to someone like myself who does not like the unknown. Some may argue that if things are so uncertain we shouldn’t get attached to possibly temporary people, things, or lifestyles. I disagree. We should seize each moment regardless of what the end result might be. I felt that I held myself back from trying new things because I was afraid they weren’t going to work out in the long run. I didn’t have any justification for these decisions other than I was not fully confident in the end result. I am now choosing to live my life a little differently.

At the end of May, I did something entirely out of my comfort zone: I tried out for the cheerleading team at my school. For those of you who know me, you might be thinking to yourself, “What! She’s going to be a cheerleader!? I could never see her doing that.” Never having any experience before, I went into the tryout thinking that there was a 50/50 shot of making it. I did not go in pessimistic; I chose to be optimistic and in the end it paid off for me. I’m very excited to meet new people and try something new.

Being home has reminded me of how I used to make decisions. I would make a decision after planning out every possible detail of different scenarios. I no longer want to go through that process for absolutely every opportunity that comes my way. Coming home not only made me realize how those around me have changed over the year, but how I have also changed.

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

E. E. Cummings

I like the new Monica who is trying to let her guard down, to loosen up some more, and to believe in myself more. I wouldn’t say that I reinvented myself in college; I simply decided that I needed to change a few things if I wanted to be happy and get out of my comfortable bubble. I’ve learned a lot about myself this past year. Some things I absolutely love and other things I wish to improve. Regardless of what others think of me, I know that I am happier with myself now than I previously was.

The future holds many new ventures for each of us, and they are meant to be explored. Be a little more spontaneous and a little less uptight. I’m still working on both, but I like where I’m headed.

Monica

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