I’m going to be real, I often find myself a bit homesick. I’m lucky enough to have an extraordinarily tight-knit family and feel so blessed when we’re all together, but between my parents, my sister and I, there’s over 12 hours of travel time to see each other. It was my decision to move away for uni and I stand by it, but it doesn’t make the time we all spend apart any easier and it certainly doesn’t stop the normal family disagreements and bickering when we’re all back under one roof. Here’s my best advice for navigating the move back home over the break and how to best keep your independence when you’re back playing for Team Family.
Keep up with your hobbies
Just because you’re home doesn’t mean everything in your routine has to change. If you like going to the gym, cooking or any other activities, there’s no need to give them up. Sign up for some free trials at local gyms or get a short-term membership. If I don’t find a way to get out of the house and do my own thing I go a little bit crazy. Free access to a fully stocked pantry is my dream and I take full advantage of it and you should too! I’m sure your family will appreciate dinner on the table when they get back from work or school. I recently found all my art supplies from high school and started painting again. Clean up your cupboards and see what you find.
Be open about how you feel
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, be honest and let your family know. Transitioning from your routine back to family routine is tough! Your siblings are up for school at the crack of dawn and the coffee grinder sounds like someone’s operating a jackhammer outside your bedroom door. Not to mention the twenty questions you get whenever you leave the house. “Where are you going?” “Who’s gonna be there?” “Will you be back for dinner?” “Can you drop your sister off on the way?” This is a massive change from the casual roll out of bed at 11:30am to make it to your 12pm class in your pajamas. I’m not lazy I promise. I’m just programmed to a different productivity timeframe, or at least that’s what I claim. I find mealtimes to be my hardest adjustment. I can’t remember a time when I’ve eaten dinner before 7:30pm in the past four years of my life – aside from when I go home.
As fun as it is to have a standoff with your housemates over who’s going to tackle that pile of unwashed kitchenwares, it’s definitely not as fun with your parents. They’ve been cleaning up your mess for years now. Lend a helping hand. Do the washing, clean the house, cook a nice dinner. It’ll make them happy and happy parents equals happy life.
Don’t take time for granted
The fact of the matter is everything changes as we get older and you might never have as much time-off as you do right now while you’re studying. Try not to take for granted the time you have with your family and be thankful that you get to go back to your family home. Also make the most of the home cooking and try to arrange some coffee dates with your friends from school. Most of all, appreciate your time off and enjoy the summer break!
Feature Image via Unsplash and inset gifs via Giphy