The start of July marks the middle of the summer for college students. As I reach this point in the summer, I feel the need to reflect on many things. Although, initially just memories of my home friends and various things that I have done this summer come to mind, I also feel the need to reflect on what coming home after my first year of college has taught me.

Living independently away from home, taking challenging classes, and making new friends has taught me so much about myself and what I am capable of. However, coming home after my freshman year college adventure has also taught me many things. 

1. It is difficult to settle back into life at home

I found it quite difficult to go from living in a dorm to living back home. While I was away at college I lived independently. My family was not able to dictate what I was able to do and when like they did while I was in high school. It was my responsibility to make sure that I woke up for my morning classes, finished all of my school work, and maintained my dorm room.

I felt somewhat like an adult. I thought that this would continue once I arrived home for the summer. However, this was not necessarily the case. Although I felt this way at school, it was difficult to bring this into my life at home. My family expected me home at certain times and did things for me (like my laundry, thank god) that I had to do myself at college.

It was definitely hard to settle back into life at home after being away for so long. However, now I wonder if it will be hard to get back into the groove of life at school come the end of August. 

2. You'll never be able to accomplish everything you set out to

During finals week, and even the weeks leading up to it, I remember talking to my friends from home for hours and hours about all the fun and amazing things we wanted to do once we were all home for the summer. We made countless lists of restaurants, stores, and different attractions we wanted to visit.

I actually think that the thought of not doing school work for about four months and doing all my favorite activities at home got me through finals with a little sanity.

Now that I have been home for about two months I can honestly say that my friends and I were very optimistic to think that we would accomplish everything that we set out to this summer. I would say that so far we checked about five things off of our many lists.

Although we thought that we would spend our summer doing our favorite things that we can only do at home and making new memories, we spend most of our time together watching movies, wasting time, and eating at the same two restaurants.

This may sound like a bad thing, but that is exactly what I have done with my friends every summer before this one and even though we planned hundred of things to do, I would not want it any other way.

3. Some days you'll do exactly what you did at school, sit in bed and watch Netflix

I cannot tell you how many days I wake up at 11:30 AM exhausted for no apparent reason with a desire to stay in pjs and watch Netflix all day. I did this almost every weekend at school and I thought that this would end once I got home. For some strange reason I believed that my laziness was a result of being stressed and overworked. I guess I was wrong.

I know I'm not alone when I say sometimes I am my happiest when I snuggle up inside of my comforter and binge watch Netflix for hours on end. At first I thought that by doing this once a week or so that I was wasting my precious summer at home. However, I quickly realized that I only have the luxury of not being in a twin sized bed for a short period of time so I should savor it.

4. It is more difficult than you think to make plans with your college friends

To say it was simple at school to make plans with your friends is an understatement. Living minutes, or sometimes even seconds away from your closest friends made it beyond easy to drop into their dorm rooms whenever you wanted. However, this ease changed the second I got home for the summer.

Unlike my friends from high school, all my friends from college live a minimum of 45 minutes away. I know this does not seem like a long drive, but it is when you are used to walking from your room to theirs in a matter of minutes. That on top of busy schedules and the need to see what it seems like endless amounts of people makes making plans more difficult than you may think.

5. Surprisingly (maybe not) you won't even think about dining hall food

This may come as a shock to you, but you will not miss dining hall food at all. That's right, not even a little bit. I know that one of the most exciting things about coming home for me was having all of my favorite foods at my fingertips and not having to think about what meal from the dining hall I would force myself to eat for dinner.

I know that I have certainly taken advantage of visiting my favorite restaurants and even visiting some new ones. 

6. You'll make any and every excuse to talk about school

It's difficult going from living somewhere amazing for nine months to going home and not using any and every opportunity to talk about it. I find myself talking about not only my school, but also the surrounding areas, my friends, and the food we ate almost constantly.

I'm sure my friends and family are very annoyed with me since they have heard me go on and on for about three months now. I just can't help it.

7. You'll miss school more and more each day

I know that during finals week I certainly did not think that I would miss school once I was home for summer break. I was wrong. Everyday I miss Penn State a little more and count the days until I can go back. Not only do I miss being on campus and living on my own, but I miss all of my friends and the fun things that we did together during our freshman year. 

I know that once I'm back for a little while, I'll be ready to come home again even if it is just for a weekend, but for now I definitely miss living steps away from friends, ordering food at 2 AM, and everything that Happy Valley has to offer. 

The first half of my first summer home from college has taught me a lot not only about my myself, but also about my friends and family. I learned how to adjust to being back at home and once again living with family. I also learned that doing nothing is sometimes the best thing you can do and how large a role food plays into almost everything.

It's weird to think that soon I'll be packing up my clothes and belongings to go back. For now, I think I'll try and check a few more things off of my lists, watch some more Netflix, and enjoy my time with my friends and family.