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What to expect when you come home from your first year of college

Updated on June 3, 2016

Remember taking your last final this past spring semester? All the endless hours at the library spent with your study group and the countless cups of coffee you consumed in order to stay alert and focused. Your body is so tired and stressed that you cannot wait to come home for the summer. All the stress of the university will be lifted off your shoulders and you will be able to connect with hometown friends.

Finally, move out day is here! You and your parents are frantically shoving boxes in the car while trying to make it in the elevator to go up to your room before it becomes too full. You clear out everything in your room and then drop off your keys at the front desk. You did it. Your first year of college is in the books and you are more than excited to come home and decompress.

When you get home, you are more than happy to be sleeping in your own bed and having the room to yourself. You are excited to meet up with your old friends and start working again to make money that you so desperately need. In addition, you also would like to see your family members because God knows how long it has been since you have seen your grandparents. But first of all, you need to catch up on your sleep that you had lost throughout this past semester.

The first few weeks at home are relaxing because you had been so used to keeping busy with school work and now your worries seem so little compared to those. Suddenly, you start to realize changes when living at home again. One specific change that I noticed was that it is difficult to transition back to living at home when living with parents. You are so used to living on your own and doing things on your own terms that sometimes those opinions will clash. Please Mom and Dad, if I forget that I left out my yogurt, don’t yell at me and tell me that I am lazy. I am only human and sometimes I forget. Also, please don’t lecture me about where I can and cannot put my stuff. I’m sorry if I put it where you don’t want it but instead of making a fuss, please just explain the problems you have with it and tell me a different place where I can put it. On the other hand, please try not to get so angry with your parents when they give you a curfew or set other rules that you are no longer used to. They are learning to live with you again as well.

One thing that I have learned coming back home from college is that you and your parents need to be patient with one another. You both have lived differently over the past school year and now you are living together for the next three or four months. It is important to stay open minded and patient during this process in order to make sure that your relationship does not become rocky over the little things. Such as, leaving the yogurt out or leaving your makeup on the bathroom counter.

Another change that I noticed when coming back home for the summer is that your high school friends are not the same as your college friends. In other words, in high school sometimes you just had friends because you simply saw them for five days a week. This meaning that maybe you were not able to connect on a more personal level. Do not get me wrong, because I know that during high school you may have made best friends for life but coming back home from college weeds out the fake friends.

Are you still close with your own friends back home?

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In college, your friends that you have made become like family. You and your friends are growing up as adults together and taking on the world. You and your college friends are more close because who else is going to be so understanding when you cry over a test you failed that you studied so hard for? Or who else are you going to adventure the city with when you do not have your own car? Friends in college become like family and that is why it may seem different coming home to your high school friends. Also, if your high school friends stayed in town because they were either still in high school or went to a local two-year college, then maybe they have not had the opportunity to mature as rapidly as you did throughout the school year and you feel like a totally different person from the previous year.

. Either way, the moral here is to be patient when transitioning back at home. It is a process for yourself and everyone around you. I understand that sometimes it is hard to live with your parents again and I understand that is frustrating when your high school friends flake out on you when you have plans made. I also understand that this will make you miss and appreciate your college friends more than you ever have. What I have found to be helpful during this process is to keep busy and happy. Try crafting or working out and finding something that you enjoy or taking on more shifts at work in order to make money and socialize with your coworkers. Just remember that transition is not always easy and that it will get better. Also remember how excited you are for fall to catch up with your college friends again and although you love your parents, it is okay to feel excited to live on your own again. But for the rest of your summer and wise words for the rest of your life. In the words of Tim McGraw, always stay humble and kind.


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