Don’t chafe at having a few rules and regulations – benefits abound.
by Guest Blogger Keith Kaplan I ALBION COLLEGE: Brains (double-major honors student, Mortar Board, College Fellow) and brawn (swim team captain and an avid outdoorsman who most days can be seen paddling on the river that runs through his campus). Regular blogger. Co-founder of the eponymous DK Cookies (on Facebook!).
So, you’ve been back home from school this summer, have you? Back under your parents’ roof, in your old room? No matter how great your relationship with your parents is, it’s never easy to go from living on your own at school back to the scene of your growing up years, where on some level you’re still seen as needing close supervision and expected to abide by the house rules.
I have to admit that there are benefits to a temporary move back home (feel free to add to my list and share your own experiences).
- Home-cooked meals: Although it can be a struggle to cook for a family when everyone is fussy about what they eat, I do put my culinary skills to work fixing a meal now and then. But most nights I don’t actually have to shop for groceries or make a full dinner. My parents do it.
- Laundry “service”: As much as we all love doing laundry…just kidding. My mom is nice enough to still do my laundry, even though I’ve been on my own for a few years now.
- Friends who are back in town: When I came back home after graduation, it felt a little weird at first. But I found that a few old friends from high school were also back in town, and it’s been fun re-establishing those connections. Another plus: I have some place to go when my parents are driving me crazy (or the other way around).
There are also some potential challenges:
- Striking a balance: I’ve been home for about two months, and it’s been tough getting used to how things go down in the house and finding a balance between the things I want to do – it’s my summer break, after all – and contributing to the life of the household (even the little things like loading and unloading the dishwasher, doing yard work, or washing the cars are appreciated).
- Having a curfew: Depending on your parents, you might have a curfew. Even if you’re 21, remember that you’re living under your parents’ roof and need to live by their rules. Once you’ve been home awhile and established a routine, your ‘rents are likely to get more reasonable about when you need to be in at night, especially when they see how mature you’ve become (you are more mature now, right?).
- Boredom: Chilling at home all day might sound good, but trust me, you’re going to get bored. If you don’t have a job, an internship, or some regularly scheduled activities, you’ll go crazy (I mean this in the least offensive way). Don’t let it happen! Make it a point to have a plan each day.
When you come back home, your parents need to realize that you’ve been off on your own for the past year, and your lifestyle is quite different. On the other hand, you need to realize that you’re not at college anymore. Come to a compromise on rules and activities that happen while you’re at home. It’s better to talk it out sooner than later because depending on your parents, they might still want to ground you.
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