October 17, 2015

What I Know Now That I've Left Home

This coming Monday and Tuesday is fall break for the University of Arkansas, so after a 7:30am Spanish test yesterday, Cam and I hopped in the car for our 9-hour road trip back to good ole H-Town.

This stretch was by far the longest since I'd been home. Last year, I felt homesick about a month into school and went home to celebrate my sister's birthday at the end of September. This time, as we pulled up to my house after a 9-hour drive, it had been a good two months since I'd seen my parents.

I always like to take note of the differences between my hometown and school: The speed limit is 75, the shopping center next to my house has yet another dry cleaner's, it doesn't feel like fall the way Fayetteville does, and drivers are definitely more aggressive here. 

Like I've said before, I'm glad I moved away from home for college. It definitely made me more independent and helped me overcome my separation anxiety of all things comfortable and familiar.

Just to sum it all up for you guys, here's what I've learned and what I want to share with you. It doesn't really matter if you're across the country or in the next town over for college; these things are important to realize as you grow up. I am by no means very great at "adulting" yet, but I am becoming the person I want to be just by taking some big girl steps. 

(Most) of the things I cared about in high school were very, very silly
Whether it was caring that my hair was perfectly straightened or something more in depth like caring whether everyone liked me...it was all just kinda..well..silly.

First off, if you can sleep in for 20 minutes or do you hair - choose sleep! But also, not everyone is going to like you/want to be your friend. If you put all your energy into making sure everyone thinks this, you'll be exhausted. I've met at least 3 high-school sized classrooms worth of people here and if I tried to make everyone be my best friend and see life the way I do, I'd be a wreck. Just be you, be kind, and don't worry about what your hair looks like.

A simple life is a happy life
In high school, what you had and how much you had of it was what mattered to many.

I blame the Webkinz movement of 2005. Not only should you have a Webkinz, but you should have several. (There was a boy in my class that had 36....36!!!!) This phenomena carried into the early high school years. You don't just need one pair of Kendra earrings - you need 10. Every color, every shape, and so on. Ya'll...come on, that's CRAZY.

Treat yourself - buy the earrings, but you only need one pair. This isn't kindergarten, so the theory of being more popular because you have more cookies does not work.

Other things to keep simple: your room (because cleaning up a bunch of stuff sucks), your closet (because if it's a mess, your life is a mess), your pantry, your list of clubs, your inbox.....keep. it. simple. 

Appreciate your car if you have one
(My dad will be so happy when he reads this, ha ha.)

I got a gently-used Mazda for my 17th birthday and named her Francesca. I was so happy that I could finally be like my friends and take random trips to Target and Sonic whenever I wanted! I could sit in the school parking lot before the warning bell and blast my music in my very own car. So cool. 

Now, I appreciate my car in a much better light. Not only is it cute, fuel efficient, and a fun place to jam to Beyonce,  but it is such a blessing. I literally smile walking to the parking garage to get it because I'm so thankful I can leave campus and get to live a couple miles away in a cute little townhouse. To my younger readers with cars - be thankful!

Money doesn't grow on trees
It really doesn't, I've checked! I kick myself every day for some of the things I asked for when I was younger. (Did I really need 3 pairs of Miss Me jeans? Think of what I could get for that money now!) 

Besides just learning how valuable the dollar is, I have also learned the importance of being frugal.
Whether this is collecting coupons or collecting moments instead of things, it's an important concept to get a grasp on.

Use the manners your parents taught you (especially to remind others they should do the same)
If you follow me on Twitter, you may see some of my rants about manners/being polite/kindness, etc. If there's anything that sticks with me from what my parents taught me, it's to mind my manners. This isn't just saying "please" and "thank you", but it's also being respectful of other people's opinions, spaces, and things. Warning: not everyone sees it as important as you do to hold the door open, but you should still do it anyway.

The people that still text you from high school/your hometown are keepers
I'm really thankful for blogging because a lot of my reps are from home, and emailing with them for the help on posts keeps me in touch with them. But those sweet texts out of nowhere from your hometown gal pal sending you an old pic of the two of you in an awkward-too-much-eyeliner phase? Priceless.

I can't wait to enjoy some time off with my family here in Texas. I hope all of you on fall break have a fun and safe trip, and I hope you enjoyed the post!




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  2. Loved this post, Cristina!!! As a HS senior now, I am taking in every moment of living at home and spending time with hometown friends & of course my family. I'm going to be extra thankful having breakfast with my family this morning ;-) XO, Nicole

    1. That's so awesome, Nicole! I hope your year is absolutely amazing :)

  3. I could not agree more with all of this! I love all of these so much! xx,kenz

  4. I love all of these. I have a series of posts similar to this in the works, and it's really made me realize how silly SO many of the things I obsessed over were. The last two are DEFINITELY my favorite.
    I'm also insanely jealous that you get a fall break! I could TOTALLY use a few days off right now!


  5. CAN NOT AGREE MORE!! Loved this post girly!

    Always with love,
    Sadie Lee