Monday, December 16, 2013

Make it Out Alive!

Aside from my exponentially increased caffeine intake and lack of sleep I would never have guessed that it's almost time for finals yet again. The semester flew by so fast, it feels like just yesterday I was meeting all of you at New Student Orientation. This semester has brought many lessons in and out of the classroom as many students are living on their own for the first time ever and learning how to manage their lives. In a couple short weeks grades will be out and the bounty of your efforts will be revealed. But what will you be doing when you find out your final grades for the semester? The answer for most of us is back under our parents' roof, the very same roof we plotted to escape the last 18 years. However, there's a good chance that you won't be returning to the same situation you left in the Fall.
Leaving for college has implications beyond the student. Your family has probably made some changes to the house and their relationship with you now that you're out on your own. A lot of students get closer to their families once they move out and going home for break is a relaxing, enjoyable time for all. Then there's the rest of us, who may or may not have good relationships with their parents, and the thought of going back home causes anxiety and stress. Rest assured that there are some simple steps you can take to make the break as peaceful as possible for everyone.
Try to keep in mind that there are two sides to every situation, in this case it's your side and your parents' side. The added freedom you've grown accustomed to is typically the biggest struggle when going back home; now that you've gotten a taste you don't want to give any up. Your parents were young once and should be able to understand this feeling, but that won't stop them from doing what they have for the last 18 years. Be a sport and let them parent you a little, even if you think it's stupid. Let them know when you have plans with friends so they know when they can expect to see you, spend some quality time with them and let them know how you're doing out on your own, have a real conversation with them, do some chores around the house. All of these can help ease the potentially rocky transition back home and require minimal effort. 
The first semester out of the house makes you grow in ways that you probably haven't even realized yet. Going back home for a while can provide valuable insight to what changes you've made in your life. Take this time to evaluate what changes you've made, whether or not they are changes for better or worse, and set some new goals for yourself! Regardless of what you're doing with your winter break, make sure you relax and have some fun!


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