I'm A Different Me At College Vs. Home

By Shayan Dawood on January 10, 2019

I recently finished my first semester of college (yay!), and after a long-awaited return, I came home for three weeks—by far, the longest three weeks of my life. Why? Well, because I realized the person I am at school is NOT the person I am at home.

I’m from a suburb in Georgia outside of Atlanta. My school is in a suburb of New Jersey outside of New York City. And neither Shayan is the same person. There are similarities, but they’re relatively different. When I’m at home, I don’t get to do the things I get to do in college, like go out whenever I want and do whatever I want. I’m back in my parents’ orbit, and although I’m 18, I don’t feel like an adult.

via Pixabay.com

The reason I chose to go to my school was because I wanted to go to a school near or in New York City, and my school, which is near NYC, offered me a lot of financial aid which I obviously took and then enrolled in.

Another reason why I pushed myself to go to school out of state was because I had to get out. My parents aren’t the strictest parents, but they are strict, and I needed a change. I needed freedom. And, that is exactly what I got: freedom. The freedom to go out on school nights. The freedom to plan my own schedule. The freedom to go into NYC whenever I wanted. The freedom to eat and shop wherever I wanted. And these past four months have felt so liberating.

I didn’t truly know what freedom tasted like until I actually got to college, and I know this is probably what every freshman after first semester feels, but honestly, it felt amazing, and as much as I love my parents and my family and my hometown, I knew that when I went home this feeling would go away, and it did. Everything went back to the usual: I have to ask my parents if I can go out, if I can take the car, if they’re okay with the people I’m going out with, if what I’m doing is “appropriate,” and after a while I get used to it, and I mellow down. I become different.

In college, I’m this outgoing free soul. This person who enjoys taking on a challenge and trying new things. However, at home, I’m slower. I like staying in bed and bingeing a show on Netflix. I don’t want to go out a lot. I want to do what I feel comfortable doing and I think it’s mostly from the environment I’m in. The college environment is unknown, new, something different—something yet to be conquered; however, my home is home. It’s known, old, something I’m used to—something already conquered, and I feel comfortable in it.

What I do in college and how I behave is most certainly not what I do and how I behave at home, and what I do at home and how I behave is not what I do and how I behave in college. Both versions of me have their own strengths and weaknesses, but I hope someday both versions can meet and eventually become one.

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