Column: Going home for summer break isn’t the fun it should be

While returning home can seem fun at first, you’re a new person in the same old place.

As a child, summer was always a time that brought excitement and relief from busy school days. But during the transition into college, a subtle change occurred when you found yourself enjoying those busy days filled with friends, events and classes you actually cared about. Leaving that behind, you find yourself at home for a summer that doesn’t entirely feel like summer.

For some, this will be a chance to revisit friends and family and catch up on all they have missed after being away for a year. For others, it will be bittersweet. Sure, you get to see those you’ve missed all year, but you’re also left feeling relatively trapped while you think of an entire summer without the college town feel that Columbia provides.

This was your home, where you made mistakes and memories, where you grew up with friends and where you learned the ways of the world. But it’s also where you said goodbye as you packed your bags for a new stage in your life. Being back may provide a sense of nostalgia, yet it has a cloud of bittersweet sorrow. It’s a short time before you realize that the town is the same, but you aren’t.

You’ve changed this past year. You’re a new individual. Going away to college offered a plethora of different opinions and characters, allowing you to really see from all sides and build your own ideas and awareness.

As the days press on, all the friends you’ve made during the past 10 months feel a bit farther away, and you feel yourself falling back into a persona you left behind. Between summer jobs and internships, keeping up with texts, social media and the occasional phone call is nothing compared to seeing them every day, but it’s a poor substitute that will have to do. A feeling of disconnect between home and university widens, as you come to realize that this home isn’t really home anymore.

For some, such as myself, your hometown offers no excitement. At Mizzou, there is always an event going on, places to go and people to hang out with. However, going back home may offer nothing to relieve the yearning for adventure and exhilaration. So, not only are you missing university, but there is nothing to distract from it.

When each night ends, you might find yourself hoping that summer will quickly pass, yet the time that pulls your new life forward simultaneously pushes you toward the final days of your imperturbable youth. The blissful days of lazing around are disappearing as you shift into adulthood, and you might not fully realize that this summer is, in fact, the conclusion of your adolescence.

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