Home > Resources > Campus Life > College Lifestyle > College Students Returning Home For The Holidays

College Students Returning Home for the Holidays

Are you nervous about what to expect when you return home after an extended absence? The first year of school brings many tough adjustments along with the many rewards of independence. For the first time in his or her life, a student has the opportunity to create his or her own lifestyle. In college, there are no parents to oversee your actions: You set your own schedule, pick your own friends, and make or break your own rules. When you first leave the nest, the opportunity to exert your independence seems daunting. Once accustomed to playing by your own rules however, the thought of returning home can be just as intimidating.

The Inner Conflict

Many college students, especially freshmen, are tempted not to return home for the holidays during their first semester. The changes that students undergo while away at school will have an effect on how they reconnect with their friends and family back home. The conflict over returning doesn't reflect how much you care about your family; it simply arises because the situation is unfamiliar and most students feel defensive of their newly-established lifestyle. In college, we forsake all boundaries - even in our intellectually stimulating and intensely academic conversations with fellow students. Returning to propriety is understandably jarring.

Resolving to Return

The longer you wait to visit the folks, the harder it will be. The truth is that they love you in spite of what college has done to you (shifted your political views, inflated your ego, changed your hair color, made you feel independent). The fact that they auctioned off your bedroom to a younger sibling is of no consequence. Really. If you are debating about whether to return, go home. In a few short years you'll appreciate why — there are only so many opportunities and your parents are likely paying for your indoctrination. Thankfulness goes a long way. Pick up a poinsettia and give your mom the greeting she's been waiting for. Appreciating your family indicates a level of maturity that you may not have had when you left, and this will set the tone for your visit.

What to Expect

When you return, you will notice changes in the family dynamic. While you were living on campus, you gained a level of independence that you probably weren't afforded while you lived at home. It may not seem like it, but your parents are aware of this. At some point during your visit, your independence will probably provoke you to rebel against a house rule that was established while you were in high school. When this happens, step back and assess the situation. Answer this question: Who's cooking Thanksgiving dinner? If the answer isn't you, hold off on your objections. Your parents won't adjust to all of the changes in your lifestyle overnight.

Tensions may be heightened with your parents, but interacting with your siblings should be a pleasant relief. Typically, when you return you will find that you get along much better with younger brothers and sisters. In their minds at least, you're an adult now and this has caused their admiration of you to increase and the frequency of petty arguments to diminish.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Colleges Aggressively Fighting Binge Drinking by Banning Fraternities, Sororities

November 14, 2017

by Susan Dutca

Colleges nationwide have stepped-up and implemented indefinite bans on fraternity and sorority activities in hopes of "battling a culture of alcohol abuse." Some student's parents, however, stated that such restrictions "ruined my so-and-so's cultural life." [...]

Thanksgiving College Scholarships for Community Service

November 13, 2017

by Susan Dutca

'Tis the season to be thankful, and Scholarships.com is thankful for its wonderful community of hardworking and dedicated students. As a token of thanks, we've put together a list of scholarships for the most giving, charitable students. Whether you give back through community service or are a part of a social action project, these scholarships award your time and effort by helping you pay for college. For even more giving scholarships, click here. [...]

"OK to Be White" Signs a "Sign of the Times"?

November 7, 2017

by Susan Dutca

"It's okay to be white" signs were scattered on college campuses across the country, as well as in Canada over the past week. Reportedly, the signs were first suggested on an online chat forum called 4chan, calling on people to place posters in their area on Halloween night. At Harvard Law School, at least 20 handmade stickers with the message "It's ok to be white" were posted on light poles and electrical boxes. Harvard Law's Dean of Students Marcia Sells condemned the posters, stating the posters and stickers are "intended to divide us from one another" and that "HLS will not let that happen here." The Department of Public Works removed the stickers shortly thereafter. Even after they had been removed, the message continued to circulate via social media through hashtags and videos, gaining both condemnation and support. [...]