How Your Life Changes When You Return Home After Your First Semester

by Alexis DiZenzo

As a freshman, the adjustment to college life is the ultimate test of sink or swim.

You have to adapt to a whole new environment, interact with new people, attend lectures, live with someone you have never met before and do your own laundry.

Those who don't adapt and adjust end up sinking in college life, and those who do end up swimming to achieve goals grow up and learn a lot about themselves along the way.

It really just takes one semester of college to evaluate the sink or swim test.

Surprisingly, a majority of students do swim.

We learn to adapt to our new environment and learn how to survive on our own.

We all knew it had to happen at some point.

So, you finally settle in and completely adjust to everything about college, and then you realize the semester is already over and you're headed back to your hometown.

Upon arrival, you are excited to be back in an environment where you won't have to take the test of sink or swim (or so you thought).

Your hometown is the only place you've ever known. You grew up there.

You have made your "forever friends" there, and your family is there.

It's the town where you met your first boyfriend or got into your first car accident.

It's the town where you went to your first house party and snuck out for the night.

When you get home from college, however, you realize everything around you has changed in one short semester, just in the same way that you have changed.

Nothing is the same.

When you come home from college after your first semester, you learn everything from high school is no longer relevant, and everyone has changed.

But that's okay.

Your first semester of college changes you.

You might have matured a lot, or maybe you've even grown a bit.

You have surrounded yourself with completely different people over the past few months, which may have resulted in a bit of a personality change as well.

This goes for everyone you went to high school with.

People just aren't the same anymore, and that is okay.

The people with whom you used to be best friends swam different paths in comparison to you.

Some actually might have sunk, and because of this, when you return home, you just might not reconnect with everyone you imagined you would have.

It's funny how the people you thought would be around forever are usually the first ones to willingly walk out of your life.

People become selfish after a semester away from home, and others become insecure.

Not everyone returns home with the heart for reconnecting.

The memories of always being there for someone tend to become distant, and they are replaced by the memories of his or her new endeavors.

The memories of how he or she hurt you have become even more faded than you once wanted them to be.

When you return home for college after a semester, you understand distance makes everything seem so small.

The roads you traveled every day — to school, to your best friend's house, to get a burrito — are no longer so clear.

That path in the woods, bench in the park, curb in the parking lot and spot on the side of the road are no longer a common location, but a distant memory.

As you drive down these roads again when you return home, you remember bits of your encounters there, but everything still seems so foreign.

It's hard to believe that in a few short months, everything has become just distant memories, slowly fading away.

Change becomes the only certain thing from here on out.

With each break and return home, you begin to see more of a change in everything you have ever known.

Although the situation sucks, the endless hope and potential each semester of college brings with it is worth the change.

College is a whole new experience to swim toward great things, and although everything we have ever known is changing, it is all for the better.