Though I didn’t know it at the time, the last time I ever walked through my front door, ate at my kitchen table and slept in my own bed was in the first week of January. Since then, the house I have considered my home for over 10 years was sold, and my family wasted no time vacating just days before spring break.
I was, and still am, somewhat bitter about most aspects of the move. Being at school, I was unable to pack and go through the assortment of stuff in my room, which definitely included some interesting items.
That job was left to my mom, who not only severely invaded my privacy, but also decided what was worth keeping and what belonged in the trash.
Among the casualties were old stuffed animals, school projects, books, letters and other things I probably won’t ever need, but would still have liked to keep anyway. Now, my closet and drawers might be neat, but I mostly see them as empty.
Further, the new house we will eventually live in is still being built, leaving my family of three (plus a dog) in a crowded apartment until this fall. The amount of personal space I have is comparable to my current double in Cutten, and I’m even considering lofting my bed.
Unfortunately, I’ll hardly be escaping dorm life this summer. In fact, it will probably be worse, because I will not be sharing the small living space with my best friends and roommates, but rather with my mom and brother.
What has changed the most as a result of this move has been my concept of home. This temporary apartment will never replace my old house, and I doubt the place we will eventually move into will do any better. However, I’ve realized that my concept of home has been changing ever since I came to Colgate, and it would have occurred whether or not I moved out of my house.
As college students, we have both our home lives and college lives. And as each year of school passes, we tend to feel more separated from the former.
Freshman year, I brought literally everything I owned with me to school, and tried to make my tiny triple in West look as similar to my bedroom at home as possible.
I counted down the days until each break, and would almost always call my mom once a day.
Now, my attitude towards home is much more relaxed. It is not that I like my home life any less, but instead that I identify with my college life more. For example, I feel more like a sophomore, Political Science major at Colgate University than simply a girl from New Jersey.
I personally have grown more from the experiences, friends and knowledge I’ve gained at college as opposed to home.
College is my place for development and progressing as a young adult, whereas home is reserved for reflection and reminiscing on the past. I value the memories associated with home, but, as I grow older, I am more interested in creating new memories and a new identity, which I have done mostly here at school.
Moving out of my house has simply sped up a process that would have occurred no matter what.
I have been gradually separating myself from my home life since freshman year, and without my house, that separation has increased even more. The result of the move is bittersweet, and I will certainly miss living in my house.
However, I find comfort in knowing that these changes are inevitable and necessary to growing up.
To me, home is no longer a house, and is certainly not a temporary apartment. Instead, it is the timeless memories of growing up, from playdates with friends to Little League games to high school graduation.
Though our futures are still to be determined, at least we can always return home in this sense, no matter how disconnected we may feel.