This I Believe

Christine - Chattanooga, Tennessee
Entered on April 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I had just graduated high school, and the summer was almost over. It had felt like one of the longest summers in the books. I was ready to get away from my hometown, away from my high school, and mainly away from my family. I’m not sure if I was going through a rebellious stage or what, but the tensions between me and my parents and me and my siblings had been escalating for a while (Oh, by the way I have two brothers and two sisters who are all younger than myself). So, it was time to leave. Time to go to college and time to be independent. “I’m not a kid anymore,” I would think to myself, “I have more freedoms than this.”

Needless to say, that August I made my way to a university about three and a half hours away from my home. I remember leaving at seven in the morning to travel into this new world of independence, knowledge, and excitement. I was ready, a little nervous, but ready. The odd thing was, however, was that the moment I started driving off and waving “bye” to my black lab Knigthley, with my family behind me bringing the rest of my belongings, I felt a tear rolling down my face. “No big deal,” I thought, “It’s early, I’m probably about to start, and no one said I couldn’t miss the dog.”

A little disappointed in my reaction, I set off. The drive was relatively boring. There was a good deal of farmland and not much else. Finally, we arrived and I felt a sigh of relief partially because I had to use the restroom, but mainly because I was at college. It was for what I had wished for so long. My parents helped me carry my things to the room, get set up, and took me out for lunch. Then, it was time to say goodbye, and with my mom crying, they gave me hugs and said, “Call me.” In a “whatever” kind of voice, I responded, “Alright. I will.”

I guess I was trying to hide my emotions. I was surprised that I was actually missing my family. How could this be possible? I had wanted out for so long and had definitely vocalized this feeling many times, but now I was having some doubts about this “living far away” situation. Of course, I didn’t want anyone to see this side of me. I didn’t even want myself to see this side of me.

I guess this was just a part of this transition in my life. Now looking back on it, it was a defining moment of my existence. It was the first step in realizing that family is so vital. Over this first year in college, my relationship with my family has grown stronger than ever before. Being apart actually pulled us closer together. Therefore, this is what I believe: No matter where you are in life, family is definitely important.