College freshmen coming home: A bittersweet return

College freshmen across the nation make their way home for the winter holidays.

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College freshmen across the nation make their way home for the winter holidays.

Owen Gannaway, Sports Editor

After completing their first semester, many college freshmen returned home for the first time since August. However, things are simply not the same. For months, these students have been learning to live on their own and become independent. Therefore, this return to home was a larger challenge than expected. 

In the beginning of December, first-year college students finished their first semester, and, for many, returned home for the first time in months. These students had spent their first semester adjusting to living independently with significantly less structure to their everyday lives. During this time, they enjoyed many freedoms offered in college such as independence and self-reliance. 

Once back home, the freshmen reunited with their family, saw old friends and spent time at beloved places. Although they enjoyed their time back home, many described the mixed feelings they were having. “It was exciting to see and reconnect with my friends from high school that I haven’t seen for months, however I missed many of the freedoms college has to offer,” said Jack Thompson, a freshman at Webster University. Thompson voiced how many felt about their return home; the nostalgia and reunion at home just did not outweigh the freedom of independence offered back at school. 

Other students were less concerned with what they were missing back at college, but instead what they were missing at home. “Coming home from the first semester of college felt strange because everything felt so familiar and yet all the places that had been such huge parts of my life for so long now felt unfamiliar,” said Sophia Lindquist, a freshman at the University of Iowa. Lindquist, like many other returning freshmen, described how the places they enjoyed did not seem to hold the same significance any more.

Freshmen across the nation share this bittersweet experience together. The return home is meant to be fulfilling to homesick students. Throughout the fall semester, these young adults are put through a rigorous path on the journey to entering the working world. Their only security is knowing that soon they will be back in the place they love with the people they love. However, after many long months adjusting to being an independent adult, the trip back seems to fall short and leaves many wishing for more.