That last final is completed and you are looking forward to a long, restful semester break. This is going to be great! At least in theory. While college students are more connected with their families than ever, some things have changed.
• Have you gotten accustomed to staying up until 4 or 5 a.m. with nobody telling you when to go to bed?
• Are you now used to coming and going as you please, without being asked where you are going, when you are coming back, and who you will be with?
• Is your room a comfortable mess, just the way you like it? Are you glad you're not being nagged about cleaning up?
Now you are going home for the longest stretch of time since arriving at school and the lifestyle changes of campus may not be welcomed at home.
So how can you avoid this? Talk to your parents about their expectations and know that the compromise might have to be on your part. Share the plans you have already made for this break with your family and ask what plans “they have made for you.” Although your parents may be among your best friends, there are other friends you haven’t seen in a long time so making plans with those friends ahead of time could prove valuable.
Since you and your friends are at different schools, you all have changed. You may struggle to reconnect with some of those friends that you were so close to during senior year because of those changes. Recognize this and again communicating about these changes will help to forge new bonds.
Meanwhile, get plenty of rest, enjoy all the treats of home, get some exercise and know that in about a month you will be back to your own newfound freedom. Happy Holidays.