Joshua Smith is a freshman graphic design major and writes “Jimbo-laya” for The Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Joshua at jhsmith2@bsu.edu.

Going away to college can be a challenge for a lot of people for any number of reasons. I thought within the first week I got here I would feel homesick. I thought I would be brooding, calling my mom constantly and in such a slump. But to my surprise, I’m having a great time so far. I know I’ll feel homesick at some point, and it could sneak up on me at any moment, but I feel much more confident in my situation here than I feel other people are. 

One of the main reasons I feel this way I think is the level of independence that I acquired the past two years I spent in my hometown in between high school and finally arriving at Ball State.

After high school, I jumped straight into the workforce and within my first year was promoted twice. I ended up trying a semester at a local college while employed, but that didn’t end well. I quit that job and tried again at the same college, thankfully made it through the second time around and was admitted to Ball State.

During all of this, I was the last of my siblings living in my parents house. Living in the basement by myself was like living in my own apartment. 

All that happened in two years and it was basically my “try out” for adulting. Now I’m a little bit older and have a bit more experience under my belt. I’m definitely more prepared for life in general because of my mistakes and my triumphs within that time. Before finally getting that acceptance letter to Ball State I felt so restricted, now being on my own feels like a breath of fresh air.

Two years of waiting, two spring semesters at my local college, two separate times working at the same Taco Bell and finally I made here. I realized how far I had come and knew there was no point in stopping here. I felt so energized and organized, my life was about to change for the better and I wanted it.

Moving into my dorm here at Ball State didn’t seem to take as long as I expected, we got all of my stuff put away and ran to the store and back after. We were finishing up and both my parents and I were all doing different things in silence. It was a nice moment to think back to.

Family has always been important to me, growing up with as close as a family as I had I liked being around people. From there I grew to be a social person and made plenty of friends growing up, some of which I grew so close to that they were like family. 

Eventually I walked them to the car and I gave them one last hug and my mom asked, “Are you ready?” I said, “Yeah, you raised me well.” 

Later that day I had the first early start meeting and before that even started I made two friends, and those two friends had turned into about 14 by the next night, plus I made friends on my floor that I still hang out with almost daily. It’s always nice to have people you can hang and lean on when you need a little help.

The days started flying by, even the ones that started at 8 a.m. and all of a sudden it was already week six since I moved in. I stopped and thought about where I am and what I’m doing. I have classes throughout each day, I hang out with friends, I workout, I go to the rock wall, I play video games. I really don’t have time to feel home sick. 

At first it seemed to me odd that I don't feel homesick and care so much for my family, but then I realized how much "family" I actually do have here.

I thought about all of the things that I did to get here, all of those things put me where I am today. Of course I have regrets, but what I went through prepared me for real life. I may get homesick eventually, but I made it here. And that is what matters to me.