I haven’t felt entirely sad yet. When I do start to feel sad, I remind myself that I’m just anxious and restless. I remind myself of all there is to look forward to, to be thankful for, to be happy about. But I often feel alone, and when that feeling comes, I let it fill me completely. Because I’m alone here, completely.

My parents text and call and ask to FaceTime, but I don’t want to FaceTime them because seeing their faces will make me all the way sad.

I miss my friends. I miss my bed and my room. I miss the dog I spent my childhood forgetting to walk and feed. I used to think a lot about going home and having to exist without the crutch of belonging. I stopped doing that.

I’ve adopted the affectionate collegiate lingo of my peers—the dining hall and willow tree and pizza place have funny nicknames now. They feel familiar, but not mine. I feel like a kid going to summer camp for the first time, but one of won’t come back for the next summer.

I have purple hair and a new best friend. Things aren’t bad. They just haven’t become great fast enough.