Almost a month has passed since I moved into a college– since I moved into a new place knowing no one, since I left the safe bubble that is home. Biology quizzes, calculus homework, and my first essay have all come and gone. We’re settling in here, into our routine, into being independent. A month has gone by, which seems impossible because how has a month already gone by, but also how has only a month already gone by?
I didn’t realize how many places and people had become our home over the past 18 years, but especially the last few. Horse barns, and dusty buildings, and our patch of woods had all become home. I found myself in the past year, I figured out who I was and who I wanted to be, which I guess is a side affect of growing up, but it also felt like more than that. It felt like overcoming a lot of the things that I needed to. I had finally felt comfortable in my life when I had to leave everything I knew– I think that was why it was so scary to me. I had carved my little place that was home, with all the people in it I needed, and I didn’t ever want to leave that place. When I moved into school I suddenly felt like I was the same freshman who went into high school four years earlier. I felt shy and nervous, and was trying my best to make sure people liked me. I forced myself to get over the fear and the nerves and acted like the “me” I was at home. The me that I really liked, who was funny and outgoing, and felt comfortable with herself. Once I overcame the scary freshman stage I began to feel comfortable here too. I fell into a routine that seemed to work for both Wave and I, that involved early morning walks, and frisbee, and getting out of our dorm room as much as possible. I found friends who I really like, and I enjoy spending time with. Friends that I can do all the #CollegeThings with but who can also sit in my room and talk for hours.
The first two weeks I missed home so much. I missed my people. Too many of my friends were still at home, awaiting their turn to load up the car and head to their respective schools, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing out. I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing out on the latest shenanigans at class, or the nights at the barn that always lasted too long for all of us, but we soaked in every minute. I was having trouble enjoying what I was doing here because I was too focused on what I was missing at home. Slowly my friends all headed off to school to start their own adventures, and I began to miss home a little less. I made a few friends, fell in love with my neuro class, and missed home even less. And that brings us to now.
It wasn’t until I began to stop missing home so much that I began to miss agility. I had missed all that agility had brought to me, the people, the laughs, the pure happiness, but I hadn’t missed the actual game. I think I could only miss one thing at a time– so I missed home and everything that meant, and when that faded I immediately began to miss my sport. Wave and I played agility for the first time in almost a month tonight and I am completely over the moon. I feel in tune with her again, and with myself. I had missed agility but in the past week I had missed it so much more. So we played tonight, and Wave is tired, and my heart is full.
The other day I was using my GPS on my phone and it said I was 15 minutes from home. It took me a minute to realize that it had readjusted and “home” now mean Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. I wanted to shout that this was not my home, and that my home was seven hours away where all my people were. But then I realized that this was my home now. That doesn’t make Home any less of my home, but this can be a home too. And the more Bucknell feels like home, and the more we make it feel like home (cue more agility instantly) the more we like it here.
College was a big adjustment, and we’re still figuring it out. But I don’t miss home that much anymore. I’ve figured out how to make here feel like home, and its pretty nice here too.