One College Student’s Transition Home For the Summertime: 3 Things Nobody Tells You.
by, Lexi Zipkin
(Synergy eTherapy Summer Intern. Tulane College Student. Future Therapist. )
Home. College. Home.
I love college, but I was so excited to come home for the summer. After four months of living across the country and doing my own laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking, I couldn’t wait to get home. I was greeted with all the hugs, kisses, and free meals I missed so much.
However, even though I just finished my third year of college, I was also hit with some things that I seemed to forget come with the transition from college to home.
The FIRST thing nobody tells you about the transition from college to home is that it’s not about you anymore.
Most of my worries at school revolved around my own schedule: When am I going to study? What time is my meeting again?
Those worries seem silly to me now that I’m back in the “real world.”
Planning lunch with a friend quickly turned into driving my sister to soccer, taking my grandma to the dentist, and starting work. My stressing about a grade became stressing about my papa falling again.
I resumed the responsibility of being the messenger between my divorced parents, I was reminded how logistically difficult it is to share a car, and I forgot that my mom always wants to know where I am.
It’s not easy to transition from the independence of college to living back at home with your family because life truly is not just about you.
I am a true believer in the idea that your best friends are not necessarily the people you’ve known the longest, but are those who come into your life and prove they want to be there.
The SECOND thing nobody tells you about the transition from college to home is that you realize who your true friends are.
I grew up in Minneapolis but I go to school in New Orleans, so I now have close friends all over the country. I keep in touch with my best friends from school and we talk all summer while we’re apart.
For me, the most difficult part about the transition was reconnecting with my friends from home. There are some I keep in touch with while I’m at school, but with others I have to play “catch up” and hear about the last year of their lives.
I am a true believer in the idea that your best friends are not necessarily the people you’ve known the longest, but are those who come into your life and prove they want to be there. I am definitely closer with some college friends I’ve known for only a year or two than many people I grew up with.
Life has a funny way of leading you away from those who are no longer good for you and toward those who will help you learn and grow as a person.
Adulting is Hard.
The FINAL thing my transition home made me realize is that “adulting” is hard, but such is life.
I came home to a whirlwind of issues that forced me to step up to the plate. My nights at the bars became nights at the hospital when my papa fell, and sleepovers with my friends became sleepovers with my grandma because she has dementia and can’t be alone.
While it is so painful to watch what happens with old age, I also have the opportunity to appreciate the purity of children at the preschool where I work. I always think about how innocent and naive they are. These kids have no idea what it’s like to lose someone you love, to worry about someone else’s well-being, or to have your heart broken.
But they also don’t realize that they have an entire life ahead of them to meet new people, travel the world, fall in love, and grow each day. Seeing this cycle of life from infant to old age has allowed me to reflect on my own life and think about how far I’ve come and how far I still want to go.
I may be in the beginning stages of “adulting,” but I’m learning to appreciate its challenges.
I hope this list of things nobody tells you about the transition from college to home doesn’t sound too cynical.
While the transition is definitely hard, I think many students can relate to these struggles and can also learn from them.
I’ve been reminded of:
1. The importance of being there for your family,
2. Showing effort with your friends, and
3. Staying strong through life’s adversities.
These past three years have been the best of my life and, although college life isn’t real life, I know that after graduation I’ll be prepared to take on the world.
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