Home? For the Holidays?

There is nothing like an undergrad college experience.  You can prepare mentally, financially, and maybe even emotionally. However, there is one thing that you cannot prepare for, and that is the freedom that comes with this experience.  There is no one around to tell you to wake up and go to class, nobody to tell you when to take out the trash, wash your dishes, or make your bed in the morning. You are the boss and the buck stops with you.

You have just gone through a significant period of development while you’ve been away at school. It will take your parents time to get used to your new habits, and it just may take time for you to get re-accustomed to your parents.

Before you know it, its time time to return home.  How do you transition as a young adult/college student, the boss of your own castle, to returning home and following your parents’ rules?  

The truth is, you are not the only person who has changed these past few months. You have been away at college developing your own independence, new habits, behaviors, and beliefs, but so have your parents back at home.

This can make returning home hard for both parties. Heading home to live by the family rules and expectations is a transition most parents and students don’t know how to handle.  After all, parents have raised their children to be self-sufficient, responsible, and to make responsible choices. Recognizing that they’re a different person than when they left, but then wanting to fit back in, can be challenging on both ends.  

What can make this process easier? Communication.

Open lines of communication are key, before the visit and during — and sometimes even after.  There are subjects that may be sensitive, but they should be discussed. As a student, curfew, chores, drinking, and having a significant other spend the night are topics you can anticipate may come up in discussion.  Prepare to discuss them prior to returning home, before things get uncomfortable. Petty arguments may happen with your parents while you’re back home for the holiday break. That is normal.

Don’t be scared to go back home and get adjusted all over again.