Wait, its (almost) over?

Wait, its (almost) over?

As I’m sitting in my bedroom in the little suburban town of Tinton Falls, it dawned on me that the last time I spent the night in this room was the night before I left go to down to Washington.  It isn’t unusual for me to not come home at all during a semester, even when I’m in Philadelphia I normally only come home for a few days of Fall break, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  I haven’t necessarily been homesick, but it is a little weird to be back here.  One of the reasons why I wanted to get out of here after high school was because I feel like everything in this place always stays the same.  Monmouth County is a serious bubble that no one ever seems to leave, and I was determined not to get sucked in.

So here we go again back to my college journey.  I escaped New Jersey by way of Philadelphia, Spain and Washington.  There is no way to deny that I am a much different person than I was three years ago when I was graduating high school, and I’m proud of that.  Everyone grows up when they go to college.  This crazy year of mine especially has shown me that I’m capable of a lot more things than I ever thought I was.

And looking back at it all, I would think I owe the majority of that to spending the past few months in DC.  Throwing myself into a real-life situation has really helped me to grow up.  Anyone who goes away to college will eventually acquire a degree of independence, whether drastic or not.  I know I certainly did.  Studying abroad definitely did too, but in a different way.  Studying abroad was different than this though- I was basically on a four-month vacation, and my adjustment and personal growth came from trying to adapt to a completely different place and culture rather than trying to develop myself, if that makes any sense.

Coming down to DC has been a reality check.  No matter how hard I try to ignore it, graduation is coming.  TWC has proven to be an invaluable experience, even if it’s been a rude awakening.  It’s really helped me to find some kind of direction with myself.  I’ve found a field that I really enjoy, have started to define a career path for myself (even if it is only a rough draft) and will be leaving Washington with a better sense of myself than I had when I first went down there.  I really feel as if I’ve been able to mature and grow more in these past few months than I would have otherwise.

Coming home and looking around at everything that is still the same after all this time just further enforces that.  Last night, one of my best friends from home, Katie, and myself went to a local bar near her house that a lot of kids from Monmouth University frequent.  It was like a high school reunion.  Not only was I rubbing elbows with people I used to see every day hanging around my locker, I ran into my ex-boyfriend from high school, three ex-coworkers, and half of Katie’s high school as well.  It was definitely fun to come home and I enjoyed it, but it’s my time to go.  Some things never change, for better or for worse.  I feel like Monmouth County is definitely one of them.  And that’s completely fine for people who like that, I have a ton of friends who love it here and have no desire to ever leave.  But that’s just not me.  I know what I want for myself in the future, have an idea on how to get it – and I definitely have TWC to thank for that.

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