I feel like Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” No, I’m not confused about my gender; I’m talking about my journey through college.
Let’s pretend that college is Oz. At the beginning, both are terrifying with all the new places, new people, and usually no one immediately around to help. Suddenly, you’re not in Kansas anymore.
I cried almost as soon as my parents left; my roommate wasn’t around, I didn’t know anyone, and I didn’t know what the future held. Although they weren’t options for our aforementioned heroine, you’ll be using texting, Facebook and Skype to stay in touch more than ever before. Many weekends or breaks are opportunities to head home and take a break from college.
But as you get older and move ahead in your journey, progressing into sophomore and junior year, you start wanting to stay in this new world more and more. It’s not that you love your family any less (the friends we’ll get to later), but you’re finally comfortable with where you are and are especially loving the freedom. The first summer is great… for about a month. The next two drag on, however, with every other thought being, “Can I be back at college now?” Your sickness for home becomes sickness for college.
As you develop friendships with scarecrows, tin men and lions, most of your home friendships will diminish, and soon become relegated to Facebook and high school reunions. Eventually, even your summers are spent away, either at school, an internship or studying abroad in the Emerald City.
But then next thing you know, it’s senior year, and then first semester is done, and the real world looms in front of you with all its wicked witches and flying monkeys. Then you kind of wish you were home to be with family, old friends and your little dog too.
College life goes by fast. When The Great and Powerful Oz finally hands you that diploma, and declares you’ve got a brain (and hopefully some heart and courage to go with it), what happens next is up to you. You get to lay out a whole new yellow brick road.
But sometimes, if you want to, it’s okay to just click together your ruby slippers and wish you were home.