I've been dreading writing this for a while: the first post from home. After an early breakfast at The Village Deli with my roommates, an afternoon saying goodbye to friends at Kilroy's and a few last minute errands, I packed up my car today and left Bloomington to go north. I don't think there's a more melancholy drive in the world for an IU student than the drive home for summer.
Soon, the comforts of home will heal the wounds. I'll start getting eight hours of sleep and I don't plan on eating Ramen until August. But right now all I can think about is my life in Bloomington and how much I want to be there. This is how I cope.
1. Don't expect to feel comfortable at home the first day. This isn't Thanksgiving or Christmas break with Bloomington at the end of the tunnel, this is a marathon. Take time to adjust. It's OK to need time.
2. Go to bed early the first night. Chances are, you're coming off a coffee-fueled insomnia of finals and good-byes. Your body will shut down if you try to keep the same pace you did during the school year.
3. As soon as you slow down your pace, the pain will kick in. The novelty of being home will be replaced by boredom. No one's heard of trivia night or Sink the Biz and all of your friends aren't within walking distance. To beat the boredom, try getting all those little jobs done you think of during the year but can't do; this is the time to indulge your PInterest addiction.
4. Try not to wallow more than a day. It's OK to sit in front of Facebook and go through the entire year's worth of photos while listening to the soundtrack of KOK, but then move on. Be home.
5. Most importantly, stay connected. It might be hard, it might be inconvenient, and you might not be doing anything exciting enough to talk about, but keep in contact with the people who make you feel good. "Friends Forever" takes work, but it's worth it.
Whether you're graduating or returning in the fall, leaving IU for the summer is a huge transition. It's not easy, but the best part is Bloomington is always there and the people who matter most will always be, too.