From College to “Casa”

It isn’t a hoax or a myth that one changes when they go to school. The transition of college to “casa” is even harder than the college transition itself.

With transitioning into college for example, you are from one stagnant location. The culture, people, and ways of life aren’t greatly changing at a rapid pace. You can visit Miami, Baltimore, Chicago, and Oakland and in 30 years you can feel as though nothing has changed. Yes, people may have grown taller and a neighborhood may have grown wider but those cities did not progress to the extent in which an active, young, mind can expand to. Because of this fact, when learning at a college out-of-town and especially out-of-state, you will exceed your hometown, or rather, the people in it.

Once you’ve gotten into college, you will begin to be yourself; you find people who look like you, think like you, share more than one interest, or simply are attracted to you just for being different! All out-cast find an in-crowd in college… too often are we subdued or perceived to be or act a certain way with hometown friends and fam. We are expected to always do something or take care of something that has been made routine for your life even if you haven’t felt that it was right for you to take on this responsibility. Someone may have always been the “mother figure” while at home but preferred to be the college student once they’ve gotten back. Some dynamics of the household totally change! Someone may also dislike the over-protective parent(s) who act the same way after their daughter has come back home. After we have lashed out in a suitable manner, partied hard, hung out late nights, stayed up till early mornings, slept over at a friends dorm or house, we don’t want to circum to the same boundaries, curfews, and restrictions we respected back in high school. Our parents are NOT understanding, NOT willing, and NOT RIGHT!

So you know what you do? You run way!

Ok, not literally, but you engage yourself into projects. If staying at home for any lengthy amount of time seems detrimental to your emotional, physical, and psychological well-being, you have the ability to stay away completely. Finding an internship with an organization, company, union or old high school allows you to stay busy and active. Simply studying abroad or going to your best friend’s house in another state can give new experiences, fun, and a big break from your fam. Do something to stay sane and satisfied.

9 times out of 10 if you do these things, including getting involved with sports in order to travel, compete, and stay fit you will A) gather the emotion you need in order to miss your friends and family at home or B) stay busy and leave maybe a cleared week where you spend time in your home town before going back to your internship or job and increase the power of your absence; allowing people to spend time with you which they will essentially value more. People love high maintenance.

Even if your situation is like mine: you get to leave the house at any time, drive, club, party, sleep over your friend’s house, speak freely, and date freely, college will still alter the connection you have with your friends, siblings, and parents.

If you’ve taken a course on “African Appreciation” with a friend, for example, you can come home, tell your mom, sisters and brothers and they will never learn to truly appreciate the class as you have. The connection between the people you love and your new friends for life, then, fall under the category of understanding. Your friend who has taken the class with you has partially gotten the same experience and digested the same concept of the classroom that you received. Therefore, they are more likely to connect with you as you both work towards intellectual progression. While our parents, siblings, and friends may grasp all you can tell them about a certain subject, at the end of the day they haven’t experienced your learning, trips, and environment for themselves.

The lack of experience is what tears all of us apart; jealousy, boastfulness, rude comments, advice, hate, joy, acceptance, denial, all come from specific experiences in our lives. The one’s who don’t go through the same thing or recognition of the same journey will ultimately grow apart from you out of disconnection.

This change and  expansion is something we all must respect to be true and real.
College to Casa can be a challenge, but always remember, home is where your heart is.

Iyanna James-Stephenson

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