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The five stages of missing college

Graphic by Nicole Clamp, Managing Editor
Missing college graph

Sooner or later, most college students come to the same realization once finals are over and summer starts. For some, this feeling, or dare I say condition, begins to show signs within days of getting home from college; for others, it might be weeks or even months. No matter what, we all go through the same five stages of missing college. Luckily for you, I’ve listed the stages to look out for so you can plan accordingly.


Stage One: The beginning


Stage one is the easiest stage, and the length of time it lasts differs from person to person. Typical signs include being overly happy to be home and away from school work, a big comfortable bed, free parking and home cooked meals. After a year with great friends and hard work, you might be happy to reconnect with old friends and catch up with family. This stage is a nice rest period away from the business of the year. Time to look forward to sandy beaches and catching up on some shows on Netflix!


Stage Two:


By now, you’ve had a nice rest from school and are settling into everyday home life. While you might not want to go back to 10 page papers quite yet, you are starting to miss your college friends and find yourself talking, texting and facetiming with them often. Luckily, you still have your high school friends and might even be starting your summer job or internship, so there’s plenty to keep you occupied. This stage can be characterized as focusing on making up all of the money you spent over the past year, so you fill your days with work, work and more work.


Stage Three:


At this point, you have a nice routine going, but thoughts of late nights and adventures with friends might be sneaking up in the back of your mind. However, to keep these thoughts at bay you focus on work and maybe even exercise. This stage is about the new “healthy and summer” you. While this practice is great, my advice to you is to try to find new hobbies or maybe bring back old ones that you didn’t have time for during the school year. Whether this is reading a new book series, starting a daily exercise routine, watching new shows, hanging out with friends or getting back into art, this is the perfect time to focus on you and having a restful summer. Personally, I make a goal of reading at least one new book series during the summer. It’s a great way to keep your focus on the positives of being home rather than the people you miss.


Stage Four:


Stage four is the hardest stage by far. At this point, you are itching to see your friends again, go out and do SOMETHING other than watch Netflix. No matter how much you love your family, they are starting to get on your last nerves, and you’re finding yourself taking the long way home so that you can avoid sitting at home doing nothing but staring at each other. It might even get to the point where you find yourself going through your Snapchat memories thinking of the “good ol’ days” and wondering how the h*ll you are going to make it another month. Have no fear though, because the most important thing to do during this stage is to try take things day by day. Try to plan little trips to see your friends and go on day adventures to keep excitement in your life. Focus on how good your mom’s cooking is and how a full night’s sleep is gonna feel when you are back at school eating chicken tenders every night. You are almost there and you’ve got this!


Stage Five:


Stage five is the shortest stage, but somehow the longest one at the same time. I categorize this as the last week before you head back to college for the new school year. At this point, you can’t focus on anything else other than getting to college and seeing your long lost friends. Try to focus on packing up your room and getting mentally ready for a new school year. Remember that while you might be excited to leave, your family is going to miss you. Try to spend some time with them and create memories that will last until you are home during the next break. The end of stage five can be categorized as finally pulling up to your college dorm (or apartment) and starting off the new school year with energy!

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