Be honest - finals week is kicking your ass. Winter break is so close you can taste it: your mom’s cooking, your own bed, your friends from high school that you haven’t seen in months. You can’t wait to be home, to tell everyone about your first real semester away in college, but there’s something they don’t tell you. Being home isn’t the same… You aren’t the same. In the past few months that you’ve been away, you’ve grown so much, changed so much from the adolescent you were at home. You’ve begun the transition into adulthood- things are just different now. Your home didn’t stay the same either. They knocked down that old diner you had your first kiss in and there are new stores you’ve never even heard of. Your parents may very well have placed all your things into some box in the attic. Your bedroom; yea that’s your dad’s new man cave now, or worse; they’re using it as storage. At least you’ll have all your old friends right? Ehh… sort of; they changed too. I’m not saying they suck now and you’ll hate them, I’m saying they too have grown. Life somehow has gone on without you and the world just feels so unfamiliar.
I know what you’re thinking; this sounds really depressing. Well, it’s not. I’m just being realistic and trying to warn you. These changes, they’re actually a good thing, and at the end of the day, it’s just life. The truth is you have one foot in your childhood and one foot in adulthood. You do your own laundry but you still have no idea how to pay your taxes. You don't watch cartoons anymore but you still think Mo Bamba was a musical masterpiece. It can be a confusing middle grown that only gets exemplified when you come home from school. Only later on do you realize maybe everything about home hasn’t really changed, but maybe it’s you who’s changed. Don’t let this scare you because growth is good.
I’m 2 months away from the LSAT, 8 months away from graduation, with Law School just around the corner. Options include Chicago, DC, and of course back home in Florida. My life has never been filled with more uncertainty and turbulent change. It is between these hectic semesters that I spend a few days at home in Fort Lauderdale and notice the differences. They remind me constantly that life won’t wait for me, that I have to pave my own way to success and that I need to work hard to "make it". So while your home this Christmas and you feel like the whole world is going to hell, please don't panic. Just remember that you're growing up.