There's something that I've noticed in the past couple of months that I wasn't quite ready for when I headed off to college. Something that I knew was inevitable, but still surprised me a little once I fully realized it. My hometown doesn't feel like my hometown any more.
Granted, I still love going home. My house is probably going to feel like MY house for a while longer; I have so many positive memories from being a little kid to starting my first year of high school to that final golden summer before college. But I no longer get that feeling of being at home while walking around my hometown.
I think I noticed this most when I went home this weekend to see my high school's Homecoming game and to watch my high school marching band play their new Journey show. I walked into the band hallway of my high school, greeting some of the seniors who I am still friends with from my time there. But I no longer felt at home, I no longer felt inherently welcome. Instead, I felt like an outsider. The band wasn't my band anymore. I was an alumna who happened to be in town, and I got a few hellos from good friends and old acquaintances. But for the most part, it was clear that as I left to start a new chapter, life had continued at home, and it has left me behind.
I won't say that this didn't make me a little bit sad. I watched the band on the field and was itching to put on my old uniform and have just one last game and one last performance. Staying at home that night, I had twinge of nostalgia for fall at home and all of the fun things that meant.
But by the time I got back to CWRU on Saturday, I fully appreciated why this sudden development is okay, and even a good thing. When I got home, I was greeted by a number of my sisters. When I got home, I got to hear about all the awesome Homecoming highlights, see the pictures, and congratulate my sister Emily on her making it to Homecoming Court. When I got home, I got to spend an amazing evening with my boyfriend and the brothers of Sigma Nu. Most importantly, when I got home to CWRU, I felt like I was home.
I guess the lesson in all of this is that it's okay to move on from your life in high school. The fact that you don't keep in touch with 100% of your friends, that you don't participate in all the activities that you once did, or that you don't spend as much time at home as you once did doesn't make you a totally different person. You'll still have all of the great memories you made in high school. But college will give you so many opportunities to become an even better person, to make amazing friends, and to make fantastic memories. Remembering the past fondly should never hold you back from all that the future can offer.