Family History: On My Own

Write about leaving the nest and the first time you lived away from home.

I started college in August 1993, just over a month away from my 18th birthday. To say I was homesick is an understatement. For the entire first semester, all I wanted to do was transfer to UCLA. I even got the application to do so, though I don’t know if I ever turned it in.

I shared a dorm room with 2 other girls. It was a tiny room too. I couldn’t really handle either one of my roommates. My initial friends were nice, but I didn’t have much in common with them. It was cool that they threw me a birthday party. One of my other friends had her birthday around the same time as I did. We both turned 18. Our friends got us a cake and everything.

I remember walking in the mall (at school, this was the lawn between CFA and Hammerschlag Hall). It was fall and the sun was setting. I stopped and realized that my family was having a life 3000 miles away, and I didn’t know anything about it. I felt very alone.

I really did love being home for Christmas. It was so nice to fall into the routine I’d known in my high school years. I don’t remember if I wanted to go back to school or not. I did, of course.

In some ways, second semester was worse than the first one. However, I did make a lot of new friends in Scotch n Soda. Most of these friends lasted until graduation, and I’m even friends with some of them still today.

I’ve been trying not to think about college recently. All of the angst of freshman year aside, I really did love being in college. Actually, at the end of freshman year, even though I could have gone home during the first week of finals, I stayed as long as I was able to. (Until they kicked us out of the dorms.) When it was time to go back in August, I was excited about going “home”. I had to show up two weeks early, because I was Computing Skills Workshop teacher. We had to learn what and how to teach the incoming freshmen.

Anyway, I’ve been trying not to think about college because it’s hard for me to realize that those were the best years of my life, and are likely to stay that way. I’m not saying that I don’t have anything good to look forward to. Mostly that the best of my life has passed.

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