As the saying goes, there no place like…


Throughout the summer I have put off thinking about actually attending college.

I’ve been griping about wanting to leave for college since freshman year, and I’ve been fantasizing about all the fabulous things I will do when I’m there. I have my dorm room bedding, a mini-fridge, and my classes are all picked out.

But the way I do things is that I love thinking about these big changes and new things, but when it comes time to actually doing it, I get really freaked out and start hyperventilating and swearing that I will stay home to live happily with my parents forever and ever, the end. Luckily, my parents put down my college deposit and are forcing me to go for at least a semester. 

I’m not really that freaked out to leave, I swear. I’m excited to take on new things and meet new people…but there are a few things that really make me lose it when I have to imagine not having access to it 24/7. 

My family. Especially, my sister and mom.  

My mom has been my best friend from the day I was born, I just didn’t realize it until my last few years of high school. We get along better than anyone I’ve yet to meet and I see now that when she says she’ll always be there for me, it’s 100 percent true. She is my greatest confidante, literally; she knows everything about me. And I’ll miss being able to lay in bed with her and talk whenever I want, saying goodnight to her, and just doing generally everything with her as I have for my whole life thus far.

Who else will pick up ice cream for me just because I’m having a bad day? 

Who else will tell me I look great, even if it is a lie?

Who else will lie on the bathroom floor with me at two in the morning, rubbing my back when I’m terribly sick? 

Who else will assure me that even if I royally screw up my entire life, I’ll still have a home to come back to?

I can only hope that I will make friends at college who will care for me half as much as my best friend, my mom, does. 

If my mom is my best friend, you may wonder, what would I consider my sister? Well there’s no rule saying you are restricted to a single BFF. My sister is also my best friend, I’ve just known her for a little less time. She came along 13 years ago and I cried simply from the relief that it wasn’t another boy. I had a sister, someone who would look up to me and annoyingly want to do everything I did and steal my shoes. 

It’s been a lot different than I thought it would be. Usually, I’m the one looking up to her and she tells me exactly how silly I’m being. She’s better than me at a lot of things and of the two of us, she’s been dubbed “the pretty sister”. The only thing that really came true from my vision is that she steals my shoes. 

But whenever I needed someone to help me out, she was there. We get each other’s humor and understand when the other one is crabby. And although we get on each other’s nerves 60 percent of the time, the 40 percent left makes up for anything. I wish that I could be home all the time to help her through high school: her first kiss; first heartbreak; first dance. Luckily, I’m no more than a phone call or an hour drive away. And I will be there for the biggest things and the smallest ones. 

I thought I’d make this column strictly about my mom and sister, but I can’t bear to leave out my favorite man in my life.

I’ll miss my dad, the man who wakes me up and puts me to sleep with his singing of Celtic songs and 80’s rock Pandora stations. He’s the guy I can talk to about everything from soccer and hockey to boy troubles and God. He knows exactly when to be serious with me and when he can poke a little fun, something I’ve tried to master by watching him. He’s the hardest working person I know. The best example of a husband I’ve seen. 

Ten months ago, I didn’t think I’d have a hard time leaving them. College had so much to offer, I wouldn’t even have time to miss them. But here I am, having spent numerous nights wide awake, worrying that I’ll miss them so much I won’t make it through a semester. I’ve said on multiple occasions that I plan on coming home every weekend to see them, and my mom just laughs it off, assuming I won’t.

Oh, I will.