Getting Through It

I was scared.

Opening the door to my apartment after Thanksgiving break my freshman year in college took about everything in me. I didn’t want to be back there. I wished so badly that I could just hop back into my car and make the four hour trip back home. I was so confused about where these feelings were coming from and decided early on that it would be best to just ignore them. Ignoring them was just about the worst thing I could have done.
Beginning college was very exciting. For the first time in my life, I was on my own. I remember being filled with many emotions as my parents unloaded the car and started to pile all of my belonging into what was now my home. Saying goodbye was sad, but I was ready to begin this new chapter of my life. The first two months of college were everything that I expected and more. I made a lot of new friends and I was truly having the time of my life. My classes were all very interesting and to my surprise, they were not even all that hard. There was always something to do—parties, sporting events, student activities, etc.
Going home for Thanksgiving was exciting. I was able to spend a week with my family and friends and tell them all about my new experiences as a college student. I told them about my classes and teachers. They got to know all about my new friends and what each one of them was like. I even told them about the never ending parties, but I also chose to leave some things out! When it came time to leave however, I was not ready. I never thought that saying goodbye for the second time would be even harder than the first.
My parents helped me to load my car, gave me a kiss, and sent me on my way back to school. The car ride was a long four hours and I wanted to turn the car around and go back home. Where were these feelings coming from? I was so confused and assumed that I would be fine as soon as I was back at school with my friends. However, I was not.
The following few weeks after Thanksgiving break were rough. I tried my best to put up a front and pretend that I was okay. But my friends had noticed that I was not myself. I felt anxious and depressed. I was scared to tell my mom how I felt because I knew it would worry her. One day I woke up and said to myself, “I cannot do this anymore.”
It was a rainy Monday morning and all I wanted to do was stay in bed for the rest of the day. I tried to tell myself that I only felt this way because of the dreary weather. After a few days, and much sunshine, I realized there was something much more serious going on.
I decided that I needed to tell family what was going on. My mom was a wreck as I knew she would be, but I assured her that I was OKAY, just going through something. Christmas break was not far away so I kept telling myself to keep going. Going home for Christmas was such a relief. I spent most of my time at home with my family and my feelings of anxiety and depression subsided. When it was time for me to go back to school again, I was extremely nervous.
To my surprise, I was one hundred and ten percent better when I returned back to school for Spring Semester. For those few weeks when I was not myself, I was homesick. College was scaring me. I think that I dove into my first year too deeply and I would not allow myself to admit that I was homesick. I love that I was able to get through that rough time and return to Penn State, because I enjoy being here so much. However, I am never hesitant to go home now when I know I need some family downtime!

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