Journeying home reveals forgotten passions

“It’s a funny thing about comin’ home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You’ll realize what’s changed is you.” The Benjamin Button quote ran through my mind a couple times last week.

Break offers a lot of reminders of times passed. Running around with your old friends. Eating at your favorite local restaurant. Meeting up with an old crush. The little pieces that built who you are today.

Many people go to college with big ideas about changing the world and achieving their dreams. Shoot for the stars the high school graduation commencement speaker said.

But somewhere along the line things can change.

Old people call it being welcomed to the real world. Responsibilities amount and decisions become more impactful. One can easily lose sight of their dreams as idealism fades to reality.

The feeling of aloneness is a quintessential college experience.

Seeing your parents drive the car back home as you stay. Sitting in a classroom of 200 strangers.

Staring into the void one finds themselves staring back. Separated from the influences of home one asks, who do I want to become? Advisors, upperclassmen and other guides lead us through the American coming of age ceremony. We find what we think is our desired lifestyle and work toward it. Throughout, we work to improve on our flaws and bring out our strengths. By following the program we are told we will succeed.

However, while college is a sobering taste of reality, the atmosphere is atypical. Many successful people thrive on doing exactly what our professors advise against.

Show me an innovator and I will show you a rebel. This is where the reminders of home comes into play. University reality is a unique brand.

The best reminder from home is yourself. Who you used to be. Our experiences build our own realities.

The wise work on building upon that high school self, the fool works to forget that kid. At the core of us all is our original interests, our first passions.

Build on those. One of the saddest things to see is someone with the ability to live their dream but held back by the path they chose.

An inch long difference today becomes miles further down the line. Trips back home let you retrace the footsteps of the old you.

Following the trace will lead to authenticity. When you go home next time and hit the light switch without thinking, will that be your memory or someone else’s from the past?

Phil is a junior in journalism.