Being in my own room was the weirdest feeling.
As I set my backpack down on the carpet floor, I glanced around me, taking in beige walls and cluttered shelves. I examined the small collection of FunkoPop vinyl characters aligning the top of my bedframe.
I picked the Gandalf figure up, blowing dust off of the collectible box, and laughed. I had gone through so much over the last ten weeks that I had forgotten what I had left behind at home.
For the first time this summer, I had my own room, bathroom, and all of my nerdy stuff back. I should have been happy.
Instead, I glanced around the room nervously, closing the closet door behind me with images of the red-faced demon from “Insidious” in mind. My room felt strangely quiet, and big. To help myself cope, I grabbed a much-loved paperback off my bookshelf and snuggled with it, trying to forget the fact that it was my first time sleeping alone in a room for the past ten weeks.
School was starting in less than a week. I had college apps to start, school paperwork to fill, emails to send, standardized tests to study for. I hadn’t seen my best friends for the entire summer.
Yet, I found myself sitting in my room alone. I didn’t change out of my pajamas. I didn’t brush my hair the entire week. I avoided my school friends, and my school homework, but somehow managed to watch the “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings” movies for the thousandth time.
The truth was: I felt a little hollow inside. I had just experienced the craziest summer of my life. I had traveled to Istanbul, Africa, Illinois, New York, and now, somehow, it was over. I couldn’t grasp it. It had all happened so quickly, one after another, that it had felt unreal.
And the truth was, I was scared. Scared of moving on with my life. Scared of senior year, and the responsibilities it would bring. The college process loomed over me, and though I should have felt motivated or at least nervous, all I felt was numb.
What actually ended my summer reverie and forced me awake was the start of school itself. And I realized on my first day back, as I hugged friends and recounted summer stories, that I surprisingly felt happy.
It was good to be back after a period of anti-sociality and alone time. I missed my cherub friends and I missed my adventures, but I was perfectly content and even excited about my next adventure: senior year.