As your time to move out approaches many people have advice to give on their experience and things to expect after moving out. Depending on the person this can be very different advice, as everyone has a different experience. Some people warn you that it will be a very big adjustment and that you’ll really appreciate everything your parents and family did for you once you’re gone. Others enjoy their independence so much that they tell you to be excited and enjoy your new found freedom!
What people forget to tell you is what it feels like to move back home once you have been away. I love my family and I love living at home during the summers, but each time I come back after eight months away at school the adjustment surprises me.
First off, despite being in a house full of people just as I am at school, I find being home more invasive. I really enjoy quiet time to myself and at school because of all of our different schedules I get an excess amount of it. While at home, even in my room with the door shut I find I don’t get a lot of silent space.
I’m lucky in that my parents still grant me much of the freedom I have when I’m on my own. However, I feel as though a shred of my independence is taken away simply because I know internally that I’m back living under their roof. That sense of independence is something I really pride myself on and I think having that taken from me somehow cuts into my self-confidence.
My mom is the world’s best cook and coming home to that is one hell of a treat. Not only that but simply not having to cook my own dinner is such a great feeling. It saves me a lot of stress, time and money! On the other hand, it also makes me feel somehow out of routine during this adjustment period. Eventually, I get used to it and trust me when I say I appreciate it. It’s just odd to no longer have to remember to get groceries or to wake up and plan out dinner at the same time that I’m eating breakfast.
It’s not just being home as in within the borders of my house that affects me, it’s being back in the town where I grew up. When we are in high school the world around us appears to be our entire world. We are consumed by the people we surround ourselves with every day and the life we have at that exact moment. Now, coming back to that same town my view has altered entirely. Now it feels like such a small part of the world as a whole and only a smidge of my world and it’s unusual. Where I grew up hasn’t changed, but so much about who I am has.
Every direction I turn I’m reminded of a memory and a life that no longer feels like it belongs to me. It’s an absurd feeling as if you’re looking at the world through someone else’s eyes, one where you have full access to their memories. Yet, attached to each of these memories are distant emotions that somehow belonged to me.
Returning home makes your world feel large and you quite small. It can be painful and wonderful simultaneously. The day we move out our lives change and whether or not we ever make it back to where we came from, a part of it comes with us. It molded us into who we are, just as the world we enter will continue to do.
What I want to tell you is what nobody told me, and that is that going home can sometimes be as hard as leaving. It can take you to places and people you left behind for a reason and it can remind you of a version of yourself you grew out of. Don’t forget that who you’ve become may not fit perfectly back into the place you belonged to when you left. That is a good thing because it means you have grown and learned and no amount of time back at home can change that. The more aware you are of this transition the better off you will be, so prepare yourself for coming home just as you did when you left.