After a long year of working hard and playing harder in college, come summer, you feel ready to go home. But after a year at college, it is easy to forget about the responsibilities – like changing Fluffy’s litter box – that greet you at home once you return.
In college, students gain an immediate sense of independence. You get to tell yourself what to do and when to do it: going to bed, when to watch Netflix for hours on end, when to do your work and what time you come home after a night out with friends.
Every holiday break comes with a bit of an adjustment period. At least in my house, we no longer get to sleep until 1:30 p.m. on weekends, and checking in with my parents is nonstop. Being home for the summer is especially challenging. Instead of being able to retreat back to your new habits after a few days or weeks, you have to transform yourself back into your high school self, living at home and dealing with your parents.
Our parents expected us to grow up from high school students to real people in this past year. Finances, bills and other “real world” situations aren’t hidden from us anymore— they’re a reality. “My parents and my family] always had an open line about talking about the world and its issues,” said Wake Forest student CC Thornburgh. “But since going to school, they’ve become more open about our finances and about their concerns as well as reasoning for certain actions. They’ve let me see the more vulnerable side and have trusted that I’m mature enough to understand it.”
Even though we feel as though we are adults and don’t need our parents to tell us to “wear a jacket” when it’s 80 degrees out, there is the comfort of being home and not having to be as alert. We don’t have to worry about where to get dinner because there will always be a meal prepared at home. If we’re sick, we no longer have to wait an obscene number of hours at the health center to be given a measly diagnosis. My mom acts as my personal nurse, and for the first time in a long time, I don’t hate being babied.
The adjustment to living back at home is definitely a difficult one to make after a year of independence. But even with the added number of chores and the need to be at your parents’ beckon call, there really is no place like home.