By Anna “Monty” Montoya
“How’s college?” This is quite possibly the most commonly asked question I’ve received after moving out. Even though this might be a basic question, I almost never have a response to it. Life isn’t bad, but I’ve also never felt so lost. “I’m adjusting” is my reply almost every time. I hate saying that I’m not happy because I’m forever grateful to be where I am and the opportunity to study outside of my hometown.
Life after moving out is truly two separate worlds. Some days are amazing, you know? You get to spend all your time with new friends, completing assignments that truly speak to what you’ve been wanting to study your whole life, and your life is full of freedom. It’s what we always talked about as kids— no curfew, no permission. You have full control of your life. But that’s the fantasized side of moving out. I think it’s crazy how no one talks about the emptiness that comes with moving out. It’s the way I am responsible for everything. Getting a sufficient amount of food a day to keep me energized, waking up and being determined to finish everything I need that day, being financially responsible and all the other adult stuff that I still feel too young to comprehend.
I think most people can relate when I say that time seems almost fake. I still feel like I’m a junior in high school but my first year of college is nearly over. It has all gone by so fast yet I still feel like I just moved out. I call this phase of moving out an abyss because it’s not super bad or super great, it’s a moment of growth. One in which I learn to become my biggest support system.
I’ve officially understood the feeling of a home. A home isn’t a physical place, it’s a feeling of comfort and safety, surrounded by people full of love. Although my family brings that feeling, my hometown doesn’t feel like home. But neither does my dorm in college. I feel like I am floating in an abyss, looking for that sense of home within the physical places I once knew and the new places I explore.
Life is full of transitions, and this is just one of them. This is home, it’s just going to take time for it to feel like it. It’s the process in which I learn to love all the bad days as much as I love the good ones… and you will too.