Home. Never did I ever think that I would  attribute the word “home” to my university. For the past months, I have been doing virtual school at my actual home. But now, I am back doing in-person courses at my second home: the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I honestly never thought this day would come. If you were to ask me months ago if I thought I would ever be back here, I would have 100% said no. But here I am. 

Full transparency? Before I got here, I had about too many emotional breakdowns than I can count. I was so anxious because I didn’t know what to expect. I left college a freshman and I returned as a junior. I didn’t know how to conduct myself. Do I run around campus like an overzealous freshman, or do I strut with my head high like the seasoned upperclassmen I really am? This all felt like an episode of the Netflix show, Manifest. It felt like I had been gone for 5 years- like in the show- when it’s only been about 18 months.

However, when I did get here, all the anxiety and nerves vanished. I didn’t even give my family the opportunity to stay and help me. It was a very short conversation that went a little like this:

Dad: Alright, do you need any hel-

Me: No, no, no please go home 🙂

And don’t get me wrong, I miss my family, but I think going back to school gives us some much-needed space after seeing one another every.single.day. For months on end at that.

With the anxiety of being away from home out of the picture, I still had to deal with the anticipation of how my academics will go. Learning online and learning in-person are two completely different things. I actually have to get upfor class at a timely manner instead of flipping my computer open 2 minutes before class starts.  Not to mention the fact that I have to wear presentable clothing instead of my unicorn pajamas to class. This is a very big adjustment. But as soon as class started, I was able to fall into a schedule pretty easily. I’m still getting used to waking up at 7am almost every day, but other than that, coming back to school is kind of like riding a bike. Even though I haven’t ridden one in a very long time, I know that if I ever needed to, I could hop right on and be just fine.

Everything always seems harder before you actually do it. The deep end of a swimming pool always seems scary until you jump in, and float perfectly back to the top. Driving always seems terrifying until you’re out on the open road (or maybe that just applies to me). Nevertheless, if the thought of reacclimating yourself to college life seems slightly intimidating; well, it is. But I promise, it is not the hardest thing that you will ever do in this life. Dive in headfirst! Push the gas! Once you get started, you’ll be unstoppable. You got this. Good luck besties !

The warmest virtual hug,

Vanessa <3