As we head home for the holidays after a semester jam-packed with exams, it goes without saying that a wave of relief can finally wash over us. Finals will be over and without a worry in the world we’ll begin our happy voyage back to home base. But whether we know it or not, entering our childhood rooms for the first time in possibly months is bound to ignite some unexpected emotions.
Your room has always been your room; the room you started each day in and went to sleep in each night. The place you would run to just for the opportunity to slam the door to make a point or to escape the annoyance of a pesky brother or sister. Perhaps your room was where you did your hardest thinking, your best playing or your greatest bonding. Your room was a place where you could shut the door on everything. It was a refuge for you, and a place where you unknowingly did a lot of growing up.
And then you went to college.
It’s difficult for many people to know what to feel. Suddenly you’re living out of a suitcase in your very own room, and all you can piece together is that it feels wrong. Your dorm never really felt like your real room, but now your actual room doesn’t feel the same either. Feeling like a guest in your own house is an experience we are never totally prepared for, mostly because we’re just happy to be home. Keep in mind that it’s normal to feel like you don’t quite know where your final resting place is right now. We’re living in the gray zone between a completely independent life and a version of dependence we grew up with.
So while you embark on your trek home this year, realize that home is home, even if it feels different. Home will become more of a place to recharge, spend quality time with family and catch up on life. Maybe your room will never quite feel the same, but it’s important to know that it’s okay. A different and exciting relationship with your family is on the horizon.
Photo by Alex O’Brien