Home Is Where the Heart Is

By Jenise Jackson
Blog Content Contributor

When I first graduated high school, I had planned to spend the next four years away from my hometown of New Braunfels. I went off to attend the University of Houston believing that I would never look back. But after just one semester, I experienced what depression was like for the first time in my life. I realized that I just wasn’t ready to be away from the place I called home like most college students are. So by the end of my freshman year, I decided to transfer to Texas State University and move back in with my family. I like to think of this as one of the best decisions I’ve made in life so far.

I have always considered myself a family-oriented person. All of my family members are close, but the bond I share with my little sisters has always been something special to me. Despite their ages of 13 and 8, I consider them to be two of my best friends. Before starting college, I didn’t really know what it was like to not be around them regularly. So once I was away, I felt as if I was missing a piece of myself. We tried to video chat and make visits as much as possible, but I still always felt a void. Although I believed I was the only one feeling this way, it turns out my sisters felt the same. They missed our weekly movie dates, drives to school, silly jokes, and other simple things. Because of this, I knew that finishing off college while living at home would be the best thing for all of us, and I truly owe part of the success that I have achieved at Texas State to my sisters. They are constantly reminding me that I am their role model, and that drives me to be a better version of myself each day.

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Nothing says, “You’re an adult!” like voting does. Photo by Jenise Jackson.

While most students believe that living at home restricts you from becoming self-sufficient and independent, it has been the complete opposite for me. My parents recognize that I am a college student and they treat me as such. I’m able to make decisions and handle business on my own with little to none of their interference, yet they are always there if I need extra guidance or advice. They have honestly forced me to take on more responsibility and become a young adult. I was so spoiled growing up that coming back to a household where I basically had to do everything for myself was extremely shocking, but it has been an experience that I greatly appreciate.

Everybody knows that college can get stressful, so I look at home as a slight separation from it. When I was away my freshman year, I didn’t have a car or job, so I always felt stuck. Now I can do what I have to do on campus and then go home to escape the academic environment. I love the fact that I still feel very much involved in the student lifestyle, especially with working on the KTSW staff, but can also enjoy the fact that I can have a life away from college.  

As weird as it may sound, I’m glad I felt homesickness. The feeling led me back to where my heart was. It also introduced me to an amazing school. And even though I know that I will have to move out again once I earn my degree, I savor each moment I have left at home while I can.

Featured image by Jenise Jackson.

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