We all know that university is a great opportunity to go out and learn to fend for yourself, but once the term is over, for most of us it’s time to go back home and remember how to live with your family again. I myself have gone through this process four times now, so I feel as though I’ve fine-tuned the process into 5 easy steps:
1. Find something to do regularly outside the house
As much as four weeks of doing nothing but lazing around at home and maybe doing a little bit of revision (although you know you should be doing much more) sounds like heaven on earth after a solid two and a half months of work, I’ve found that it all gets a bit boring after a while. One can only take so much of a parent telling you to do something useful. So get out there, find a holiday job, take up a new hobby or even just do what I did and volunteer a few hours a week to your community. Anything works as long as it doesn’t take place inside the four walls of home.
2. Don’t expect your parents to act like your housemates
It would be lovely to think that nothing would change and you’d still be able to leave the dishes on the side for a few days before you actually have to do them, but if your parents are anything like mine, that just won’t fly. I found that I had to spend a couple of days reminding myself that it was in fact still my parents’ house and they still did in fact pay for all the bills and rent.
3. Decorate something in your room
This one only really applies to the Christmas vacation but, although some people might not, I love Christmas almost as much as Santa (assuming he enjoys his job) so I found that putting up some decorations in my room (and by that I mean I decked out a tree and strung lights everywhere they would fit, but to each their own) really helped me feel as though I hadn’t walked straight back into how it was when I was doing my A-levels. It was something that was mine and although the house itself is decorated, it brightened up the place and made everything a little bit cheerier for the hours I spent staring at textbooks.
4. Do something to help around the house
It is nice to go home and not have to do all the chores that you do at uni, but doing something as simple as offering to help with dinner, take the bins out, or put the washing out makes living at home a little bit easier. Mostly because it prevents parents thinking you came home just to freeload off them for as long as you can, and not because you actually miss them.
5. Don’t go if you don’t want to
This sounds like the most pointless advice in the world, quite possibly the universe, but when all is said and done, there’s no point choosing to come home if you don’t want to. Quite a lot of university accommodation covers the Easter and Christmas breaks, so if you want to stay there’s no reason to force yourself to go home. If you would have a better time staying at uni, do it. I used to think that I wouldn’t want to spend a month on my own, but around exam prep times it’s actually really useful. I’m a terrible procrastinator and I let myself get distracted so easily (I’m one of those people who would rather do anything other than work) so spending some time without family or friends to distract me was really beneficial for me and my grades.
So there they are. They might be useful; you might currently be thinking “What on Earth is she talking about?”. In the end, everyone is different, but as long as you do what’s best for you that’s all that matters.