Congrats you made it through the first semester of college and it is time to go home. If you went home during Thanksgiving, your transition at Winter Break may come easy. If you did not go home for Thanksgiving, there will be a few things for you to consider.
For the last few months you have been encouraged to think for yourself, try new things, and challenge the way you think. Your family may not be ready for your new ideas, thoughts, and philosophies. Be sensitive to the fact that change may not be easily or readily accepted by your family. You may have to ease them into the newer version of you. This notion does not only apply to your thoughts, but also your hair, body art, and style of dress.
When you arrive home, keep in mind your family remembers who you were when you left in August/September. It may take some time or a little coaxing for them to adjust to the new you. Here are some things that you should consider when going home. Try to consider ways you can alleviate tension with your family during your stay at home.
- Your Parents House Has Rules: at school you have rules too, but for the most part you do what you want to do. If you do not want to clean, you don’t clean. If you do not want to come home, you don’t come home. If you do not want to go to class, you don’t go to class. When you go home you have to change your new mindset and respect what your parent’s request. Consider these areas:
- Curfew- Do you have a curfew? Does it matter what time you come home? Does it matter if you come home?
- Chores- How will you be expected to contribute to the house?
- Expectations- How will your parents view your time at home? As a vacation, as more help, as bonding time, etc. Finding out what your parents expect will reduce conflict and feelings being hurt.
- Sleep- You may be comfortable with sleepign to noon, but your parents may thing anything past 10a is too late. A small discussion can avoid tense moments and being awaken aburptly.
- Your Friends Missed you too: you coming home is exciting for your friends too. They want to catch up with you hear crazy stories from the semester. Sometimes you will have new friends mingle with old friends. Sometimes the new you will not be accepted by the old circle of friends. Be prepared for this and ready to accept that sometimes people grow apart. Make sure you do not let your friends monopolize all of your time at home.
- Siblings need love too: Do not forget about your siblings (and pets). You will want to send time with them as well. They will want to know how life at college has been and discover what waits for them in the future. Talk to them about coming to visit and the fun activities you will have planned.
- Ditching Bad Habits: Be sure to leave your bad habits at school. As we mentioned, you going home a new person may not be received with open arms especially if you have picked up new habits. Your family may not be excited if you started smoking, if you use [more] foul language, or if are more apathetic. Prepare yourself and family by letting them know you have changed and the ways you have changed. See if those changes will be accepted at home or if they should be left at school.
Going home after semester one can be quite stressful, but it can also be fun. Using the above information as a guide can help your short time at home go smoothly. Just think in a few weeks you will be back at school. Enjoy your Winter Break:)