Who do you want to be in a year? Five years? Ten? There are a million different answers to that question. Perhaps you have several answers to that question. But whatever they are, I’m guessing they bear little resemblance to who you are now. That’s the exciting thing about growing up – you get to watch yourself become something you only dreamed of before. What would be the point of going off to college if you didn’t let it change you? That being said, change can be hard sometimes, both for you and those you left at home. When we leave someone, we take a snapshot of them in our head – a snapshot that often remains relatively unchanged until the day we see them again. But people change. The quicker you learn to accept and even be excited by that, the better your life will be. Coming home from a year of college, whether you’re a freshman or a senior, can be a difficult experience at times. You may miss your family and old friends terribly, but you’ve got new friends now, too, and it’ll be hard to leave them. It’ll be difficult to load up all that stuff and drag it back to a bedroom that may have grown too small for all the experiences and memories you now carry. You may even miss that creaky twin-sized bunk and sticky-note plastered desk. That’s okay. At times, coming home for the summer can feel a little tough and confusing. You may no longer be connected to your home community in the ways you once were. Your hobbies and social events are now at school. It may be hard to transition back in to relationships with people who don’t know how you’ve changed and will have a hard time adjusting to it. If I could give you once piece of advice, it’d be to have patience. Give it a few weeks, or even a few months. Home is still home. No matter how much you’ve changed, no matter how much friends and family have (or haven’t) changed, this place and these people will always be a part of you. They helped form you into the person you are. That’s something you don’t want to let go of. On the other hand, don’t hold on to expectations you may have of people that aren’t true anymore. Some friends are only meant to be in your life for a season. Perhaps it was a great season, but now may be the time to let them go. That’s okay, too. Sometimes coming home is hard. Sometimes there’s a sense of loss as you leave friends and activities behind until next fall. Sometimes it’s lonely. But sometimes it’s great, too. It may have been months since you’ve seen any of these people, and all too soon you’ll be departing again. Relish the time you have. Enjoy this summer, even if it is a little sad at first. This time of your life won’t last forever.