This is the eighth time I’ve come home from college and it still hasn’t stopped feeling weird. I do think it feels less weird now than it used to. I mean, the first time I came home? Thanksgiving break of freshman year was WEIRD, you guys. And now I really need to think of a word to use other than “weird” because I’ve typed it so many times that it doesn’t even look like a real word anymore.
Whether I’ve been home for a whole month or just a few days, it never stops feeling weird to be back home. Iowa City feels like my home now. All my friends are there and I feel disconnected from them even with the ability to call and text and Skype them whenever. My bed doesn’t feel as comfortable as it once did because I’ve gotten used to my dorm bed. And the smell of my house is completely different from that of the building I’ve called home these past nine months.
It’s too quiet here. My ears are ringing! Without the sound of buses whooshing by and footsteps on the sidewalk and my next-door neighbor laughing with her boyfriend, there’s just not enough going on.
The more times I come home, the easier it gets. I was super disoriented that first trip home, but it’s not so bad now. I still feel out of place, but I’ll have plenty more times to do this.
I guess it just weirds me out – oh look, there I go using that word again – to think about how this isn’t really my home anymore. I just finished my sophomore year of college. Soon enough I’ll finish my junior year. Soon enough I’ll be a year, and then I’ll have graduated, and then really and truly move out. Who knows what order things will happen in next? Grad school, marriage, various jobs… and this will always be a strange place to return to, because I’ve begun to carve out a place and a future for myself elsewhere.