Surviving the holidays at home

You’ve been on your own for at least a whole semester now, living on campus, in a dorm or in an apartment, and you’ve started to get used to calling the shots and living your own adult life.

Going back home over the holidays can be a stressful few weeks for both you and your parents because you aren’t used to having someone tell you what time to be home or when to take out the trash anymore, and they might not be used to you having more freedoms either. What is the best way to deal with being an adult in your parents’ house?

Brian L. Watkins, a director of parent and family affairs at the University of Maryland, commented in the Washington Post, “When your student leaves home, it's like they've taken a snapshot of life, they expect to walk through the door and pick up right where they left off. They don't expect anything to change."

However, the reality is things do tend to change at home and a lot of times parents don’t understand the new freedoms and experiences we are given as college students.

“I dread going home over the holidays,” said sophomore and simulation animation and gaming major Corinne Schilling. “I feel like I bother my family and they ignore me. I’m not in charge of myself and I’m told to go to bed at 10 p.m. I feel like a caged animal that has been set free for the semester, and then recaptured for the holidays.”

When Schilling was asked how she deals with this frustration, she said, “I like to text my friends and play online games. It helps me escape from that awkward situation of them thinking I’m still a little girl.”

Jessica Teslow, a clinical psychology master’s program student, is originally from South Dakota.

“I’m 25 and when I go home, my parents will always ask me where I’m going if I go out,” she said. “They just expect me to tell them. I don’t mind. They’ll always be my mom and dad.”

When asked her what she recommends for stress reduction, Teslow said “You have to make sure you are taking care of yourself like you normally would to be able to enjoy your family. I pray, meditate, exercise, journal and make sure I get enough sleep. That doesn’t stop when I go back home. Human beings tend to get anxiety from change, and breaking the structure of your everyday life can be hard for people. There’s things you do on a daily basis to care for yourself, just make sure you do that at home too.”

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