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Tips For Going Home For The Holidays

With Thanksgiving and Christmas break right around the corner, I'll make sure you're prepared for some changes that might've happened while you were gone.

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Changed Rules


Since you left for college, the rules at home have most likely changed. Figure out whose rules you are living under. The rules when you were a high school student or the rules you are living under in the dorm? They are not the same. You may come and go as you please in the dorm but not at home. Talk to your parent(s) about the curfews, laundry, cleaning your dishes, helping out, etc. before or as soon as you get home.

Sibling Battles


If you have younger siblings, they might've taken reign after you left. Figure out where your parent(s) are coming from and where your siblings are coming from. Do they expect you to act a certain way that is reminiscent of who you were or do they expect you to act as the person you have become? You've changed and that's okay! Your room might even be in use for something else. It would be typical for most families to maximize space that is not being used so don't feel pushed around or pushed out if you have not been home since late August. Expect changes in family members and maybe even be surprised if there are no changes.

Don't Forget Schoolwork


Even though you're home, don't forget about your college homework. Figure out when to do your school work. You may need time to yourself to finish that overdue mid-term paper or to study for an upcoming exam. Let your family know in advance that you have work to do when you get home and negotiate a time with them when it might be best for you to get it done. When I go home, I usually devote part of one day to doing homework. I tell my family in advance so they know.

Home Friends vs. Family


When I go home, I usually make plans with my friends first since I rarely see. This might be different for you. Figure out when to be with friends versus family. This may mean individual visits with them, a larger group gathering, or both. There will be multiple pulls on you during the three to four days you are home. Expect the pulls and let everyone know that you have multiple people you want to be with. Prioritizing time with friends may mean waiting until the Christmas break for those on the outside.

Personal Appearance


Most likely, you have changed in some way since having gone to college. Expect people to make some comment about your hair, weight, clothing, height, intellectualism, budding self-confidence, or all of the above. They may be well-meaning and attempting to compliment you. Accept the compliment, and blow off any snark you might get. It is guaranteed that your appearance will change again over the course of a lifetime, so get used to such comments from people you don't see frequently.

After all, don't forget you are home for break. Be yourself, enjoy it, and have fun!

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