I was more anxious than nervous to start my freshman year at Lycoming College.
The drive from my hometown was just under three hours, which was enough to have my space but still enough distance to consider coming home if I needed to. The summer went by quickly.
Like many other teens, I had a summer job, which consumed most of my days. I arrived two weeks earlier than the rest of the students because I was going to play soccer for the college.
During those two weeks, along with every day until the season was over by the end of October, I was too busy to go home and visit my family. My first time home was at the end of November for Thanksgiving break.
I saw my family and I told them about my new life and the new friends I made during my time spent at college. As days passed, it was awkward to stay at my house. It did not feel right to sleep in my bed.
I felt like I was a stranger in my own home. Before I knew it, it was time to go back. I was not upset because I knew I would be back in just a few short weeks for winter break.
The first few nights back home during the holidays were rough because I had to get adjusted to seeing familiar places, which brought back many memories. Seeing my family and spending time with them brought me joy - but it was not the same as before.
Like the summer, I was consumed with work nearly every day that break.
All I really wanted was to go back to college so I could get back into the routine of things. It perplexed me because as I was at college all I really wanted was to just spend time with my family and kick back a bit.
My room was just like I left it that past summer. It was like a photograph frozen in time. I quickly realized that, unlike photographs, people change over time. This concept was difficult to grasp and to this day I am still trying to accept it. I soon realized that not only am I changing, but the rest of the world is as well.
I have realized that I am independent and I am learning to have excellent time management for my schedule. I also realized that everyone has roles. My role as a student is to perform and get the grades I need to succeed, in addition to being a student athlete and allowing myself to get the best result out of the experience.
Looking back on this past year, I have faced many personal obstacles, met new people and gained relationships.
As I sit in my dorm room thinking about the upcoming summer, I am curious to see how much my old friends have changed and I am anxious to hear their stories of their first year at the diverse colleges they attended.
I know that my family and my friends, old and new, will be there for me when the going gets rough.
Basch is a student at Lycoming College.