Whether you’re a weathered senior or a starry-eyed freshman returning for the first time, going home for winter break isn’t always easy. You’re used to a certain lifestyle unique to the college experience – late nights, loud dorms, reporting to no one, and (for the most part) doing whatever you want, whenever you want. But winter break is starting, and for most students, that means returning home to Mom and Dad, where the college lifestyle they’ve adapted to hangs in limbo until next semester begins.
Even if you’re the tamest student on campus, there’s bound to be an air of culture shock when you return home for the next few weeks. If you’re a freshman, your parents are expecting the person who left for college months ago – and though you’re still you, you’ve probably gone through a lot of changes since Welcome Week. Even students coming home for the second or third year in a row can feel tension upon their arrival.
And it’s not just you. Since leaving the nest, your parents have undergone changes, too. Maybe they’ve renovated your old bedroom into an office or started giving your younger siblings privileges they never would have given you. You think you were the one who gained freedom when you moved on to college, but you weren’t the only one.
Your parents may expect you to return to the way things were before you left: assigned chores, getting permission before you go out, old curfew. You’re returning to your childhood home a different person than the one who left it, and even if your parents understand this, a little strain will be inevitable during the readjustment period. So, how do you combat it? Here’s a few tips.