Things I Learned the First Time I Went Home for the Holidays

Everyone always talks about what they learn their first semester or their first year at college.  And somewhere in that whole thing, there’s the fact that college students across the nation go home for the holidays in between semesters one and two.  But no one really ever talks about that part much- at least not what they learn from it.  I’d certainly say that I’ve learned quite a bit from those weeks I spent home for the holidays, and now I’m going to impart some of that wisdom on to you.

  1. Your mom will still try to make you eat your meat.
  2. She will succeed.
  3. You may be an adult, and you don’t live in the house (year-round) anymore, but you’re still a “child” and your parents will still see you as one when you come home.  You can’t expect to have all of the freedoms you have at college.
  4. You have to readjust your sleeping and eating schedules to normal civilian life.  Your whole system is out of whack after finals week, and you have to kick it back into shape.
  5. It’s weird and satisfying when you have a week at home before Christmas during which your younger siblings have school and homework, but you do not.
  6. You may have been looking more forward to seeing your pet than any of your human family members.
  7. There’s nothing like getting home for break and running into people who are happy to see you wherever you go.
  8. Not everyone goes to college.  Don’t take for granted the opportunity you’ve been given.
  9. Even though you see people from your “old life” everywhere, there are a select few that you’re legitimately happy to see, and they you (although this seems to be contradictory to #7, it is possible that both are true, such as in my case.  read: significance of the word “legitimately”).
  10. This is one of the last times you’ll be sleeping in late, have no homework, and maybe not even have to work.  Enjoy it while it lasts.
  11. Being home is a time to be with your friends and family at home.  That doesn’t mean you should completely ignore all of your new college friends, but you shouldn’t have your phone glued to your hands either.
  12. Even the best, most understanding parents have certain “childly-duty” expectations when you’re home, like eating dinner at “dinner time” (even though you’ve adapted to a new routine) and helping with all of the Christmas preparation.
  13. Christmas changes as you get older.  You don’t get excited like you did as a child, but you still feel the Christmas cheer.
  14. Even if you’re normally totally okay with being single, seeing all of your cousins paired off at Christmastime serves you a nice, healthy scoop of loneliness.
  15. Things have changed since you left.  Don’t expect everything to be the same.
  16. It’s weird not seeing your roommates every day and not being able to walk up or down a floor and have immediate access to all of your friends.
  17. Christmas is the perfect opportunity to reasonably revert back to being a child.  It’s magical.
  18. It might be worse to see someone you want to talk to and be unable to talk to them than to have to talk to someone you really didn’t want to see.
  19. You might have to open some cans of worms from high school- some will be gummy worms, others will be tapeworms.
  20. It’s not about how early you go to bed each night, but how late you sleep in the next morning.
  21. Take advantages of stores and restaurants in your hometown that aren’t in your college town while you have the chance.  Don’t eat McDonald’s the whole time you’re home if you frequently do that at school.
  22. Be careful not to build up reunions with people too much.  Often what you construct in your mind does not come to pass out in the real world.
  23. Being at college makes you forget how complicated any sort of endeavors are when you have to worry about more people than just yourself (read: at college you just up and do things on your own.  At home, you have to make sure everyone else is still with you)
  24. Soon enough, you’re ready to go back to school not because you miss the classes (even if you like class, you still don’t want to get back to work) but because you miss being on campus and having all of your friends a floor and a door knock away.
  25. Your dog really knows how to make you feel bad about leaving.  Bring out the suitcase?  Bring out the puppy dog eyes!



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