When I was ten years old, I decided that I was going to spend the rest of my life in a big city.
Or more specifically, the big city: New York.
Ironically, I never actually stepped foot in Manhattan until I was a sophomore in high school, but a few Friends and Gossip Girl episodes were more than enough to draw me into the fast-paced city life. Although I love many aspects of the northeastern Ohio town I come from—crowded high school football games, tailgates, the friendliness of the Midwest—I knew early on that I yearned for something more.
So when it came time to apply to colleges, I steered clear of any universities that were less than 150 miles away. I sent in applications to schools all across the country, including one in Manhattan.
And I got in. It was only one acceptance letter from one school, but I suddenly had the ticket to the life I had always dreamed about right there in my hands. The more I imagined my budding Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle in a city far away, the giddier I became about the idea of attending school 500 miles away from home.
So off I went. I packed my bags, left home and in all honestly, I haven’t looked back to my hometown life much since.
These past few years of school truly have been a crazy blur. From graduating early to applying for internships to transferring schools, my college career has kept my mind far removed from my hometown. Every single summer since high school has come with a handful of classes or internships: if I’m not spending my summer writing for various publications or interning in a different city, I’m getting a leg up on required courses for school. Even my short winter breaks are spent away from home, as I’m currently spending my downtime living in New York and completing a magazine internship.
While I am thankful that college has given me a flexible enough schedule to fit in all of my desired classes, jobs and internships, I have admittedly put my family on the backburner in the process. I will go the extra mile to fit in an extra class or completely uproot myself to another town for an internship, yet I don’t work nearly as hard to set aside time for family.
And after three years, it’s finally starting to take a toll on me. Yes, I’m 21 years old but I miss my bed. I miss waking up on Sundays to smell of my mom whipping up blueberry pancakes. I miss walking downstairs and finding my dad or sister lounging on the couch watching Netflix at any given time.
I miss being home, which is why I plan on moving home for at least four months after school wraps up in the spring.
While many of my graduating classmates are eager to finish up their degree and move out on their own, I long for that one final summer spent living in my hometown.
At the start of college, I was so anxious to get out of my small Ohio town that I sadly forgot to appreciate how special my hometown really is. Now every time I’m back for the holidays, I’ll spot something around town that instantly takes me on a trip down memory lane. No other place gives me that same level of comfort.
I am confident that the big city life will happen for me, so what’s the rush? The start of my final semester at school has reminded me that there is nothing wrong with spending a few extra months living and working at home—for financial and emotional reasons.
I have many more years to live out my Sex and the City dreams, but I only have a few short years to cherish the time spent living under the same roof with my family.
Yes, this summer I’ll finally be home sweet home.