Summer Break: Adjusting To Life Back Home

For the last 8 months you have been basking in the freedoms of college life; your first taste of a life without parental supervision.

But when the year is over and it is time to return home, there will likely be more adapting to do than you expected.

For those of you who have had freedom at home, this adjustment might be subtle if needed at all, but for those of us that have a stricter household, you will have to actively work to adapt to make life suitable for both you and your family.

At college you aren’t regulated by curfews, meal times, dress codes or any other rules that you may have back home. Just because you have gone away to college for a year or two doesn’t mean you are never under your parents’ authority again. Adjusting to life back home is a challenge for both you and your parents.

The best way to adapt to being back home is to show your parents what you have learned from being away, and how you have earned adult privileges because of your adult responsibility.

For instance, show your parents you are capable of still living on your own even while you are at home. Do your own laundry, help cook dinner, or do other household chores to demonstrate to your parents that you are capable of having more responsibilities, and freedoms.

One of the biggest problems college students run into coming back home are issues with partying and curfews.

During the last 8 months, you were allowed to come and go how and when you pleased without detailing whom you would be with, when you would be home and where you were going. Being under your parents’ roof may change that.

If your parents try to reinstate a curfew, instead of getting angry and demanding freedom, I would try compromising or explaining to them exactly what you have done to think you have earned more freedom.

For example, if your parents work during the week and have early nights and early mornings, compromise with them about a curfew. Maybe agree to a couple of nights a week where a curfew is appropriate so you don’t inconvenience them too.

Another common problem students have when returning home is having to share a car with younger siblings or other family members. This becomes a conflict for students when they realize they can’t come and go as the please like on campus.

Many students are eager to drive and get around quickly when they have been at school all year without a car, but being fair to the rest of your family’s needs is important as well. Try working out a schedule with your sibling or parents, and prioritize the car to the person with the most important reason for using it.

For instance, if you have to go to work, but your little sister wants to go visit friends, you should be awarded the car because work comes first.

Overall, living under your parents’ roof again will take more adjusting for some than others, but the truth is, as long as they are still taking care of you, their wants and needs matter as much as yours.

Compromising, picking up household responsibilities and negotiating schedules are three affective ways to make your transition back home a smooth one.

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Madeline Fetchiet

Madeline Fetchiet

Madeline Fetchiet is a sophomore at Michigan State University, studying journalism and philosophy of law. Aside from reporting, Madeline enjoys tae kwon do, reading, writing, researching and traveling, and can be considered a music enthusiast. Madeline currently works as an intern for, and is a banquet server at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, MI. Perfecting the storytelling side of reporting is something she looks forward to in her future career as a journalist.
Madeline Fetchiet

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