For some, Spring Break means sun, sand and a refreshing drink in hand. For others not as lucky, it means leaving the Elon bubble and heading back home. It means being asked the same questions by family members, reuniting with old friends and adjusting back to their old ways of life — even if it is only for
10 days.

Whether it’s been years or just a few months at Elon, our habits, routines and lifestyles have evolved. We’ve learned, for the most part, how to live on our own and be independent young adults. We act differently, speak differently and live a life separate from those we used to share it with.

The first realization that we are home arrives when we switch our Phoenix cards, our Elon lifeblood, out for our drivers’ licenses in our phone cases. Then we realize how many more options there are to park our cars. 

Disappointment sinks in when we remember the real world doesn’t accept Phoenix cash or meal dollars, but at least the real world doesn’t have such a severe 60-40 girl-to-guy ratio. Easy Mac is no longer a food group and laundry is now free, reliable and sometimes done for us. Our parents have evolved, too, but often struggle to understand our staying out until 2 a.m. and sleeping in until 2 p.m.

Next comes the interrogation from family members, which usually consists of the same three topics — our love life, our classes and our future plans although not always in that order.

Grandma seems to be more invested in our relationship statuses than we are. Completing “Intro to Psychology” does not mean we either want to or are able to psychoanalyze our crazy aunt. We secretly take pride in the fact that while we may not have our entire life planned out, at least we remembered to shower this morning.

The thought of reuniting with our friends is very exciting, but after catching up on the latest gossip, it becomes apparent how different our lives have become. We struggle with the fact that they don’t know the people in our stories and feel somewhat guilty for not being as interested in their new BFFs as we should be. 

We are struck by the undeniable reality that the friendships made at college have a different level of depth and intensity that can only come with living together and sharing triumphs and disappointments at such a formative stage in
our lives.

It’s weird to think that home may not be the house we grew up in. 

Home may not be with the people from our childhood, the people who matured along side of us. But, just as author Cecelia Ahern said, “Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.” 

The lives we have built for ourselves at Elon are ours. We choose to be here, to pursue our unique passions and to surround ourselves with people we enjoy. 

This Spring Break, we should appreciate the time with family and past friends, but always remember we have the lives we have hand-made for ourselves to return to when we come back home to Elon.