1. You are now a visitor.
Sure you have a bedroom, but it’s not really yours anymore. My mom and sister use my bedroom as a place to do their hair and makeup every morning. Not to mention, my mom stores everything from plants to old furniture in there. There isn’t an extra hanger in the closet for your coat anymore, you have to pull up an extra chair at dinner and you don’t have a designated shower towel. This is not your house anymore.
2. The world at home goes on without you.
When I came home I sort of forgot that even though I had a week off, everyone else has lives. My family and friends still had to go to work or other social obligations so some days it was just me and my dog, which I’m completely fine with.
3. Your status reverts back to what it was when you did live at home.
Even though you are an adult now; going home brings you back to your 18-year-old self. My mom did all my laundry, cooked all my meals, and did all the grocery shopping when I was home. I was no longer able to just run out the door without explaining where I was going, who I would be with and when I would come back. When I showered I had to be mindful of who needed hot water, I had to help with chores, taking the dog out and doing errands. Basically, I was 18 all over again.
4. It is surprising how much hasn’t changed.
It was weird going home after moving away because so much has changed for me but not so much in my town. A lot of the people are still doing the same thing, going to the same bars and hanging out with the same friend group as they did in high school. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this, I’m still very close with my high school friends and when I went home we did the same stuff we used to do in high school. It’s just a weird feeling when so much in your life has changed but you come back and realize at home, so much is still the same.
5. No matter where you end up, this will always be your home.
I’ve always been confused even when I was at college, because I would say “I’m going home” on both ends of my trip. But now I’ve realized that where you grew up will always be your home. You will always know those roads like the back of your hand; you will inevitably run into someone you know everywhere you go (if you’re like me, you will be seated next to your high school sweetheart on the airplane from Chicago to Albany). You will always have a house to go back to and favorite food places that make you feel safe and familiar. No matter where I end up living, the place I grew up will always be my home.