Coming Home for the First Time

No matter how far away you move from home to attend college, you will always feel that sense of homesickness while you’re gone. Eventually, that feeling goes away, and, before you know it, you’re used to your surroundings and thriving amongst your new “family”. So what happens when it’s time to come home? Often times, people feel overwhelmed. Here are some ways to cope with being home for the first time and what to prepare for.

One of the things I hear from students the most about coming home from school for the first time is curfew. For almost four months, you’ve been coming home as you have pleased, going to campus parties, events or the library for those late-night study sessions that you’ve forgotten what it was like for someone to tell you what time to come home. Then you do come home, and you’re parents reinstate their 11 pm curfew. First of all, don’t freak out! Think about it from their perspective. It’s hard enough for them to know you do have the freedom to roam the campus and city as you please. Trust me, they know. In order to extend the freedom you enjoy every day and sound like a total adult (which helps!), sit your parents down one day and explain to them your plan. Have an 11 pm curfew? How about 12 am with a promise to call before you leave wherever you are. Simply letting them know what’s on your mind and stating your case in a cool and calm manner will make both of you feel happier.

Another is sharing space, whether that’s with a sibling in a room or the house with your family. Don’t forget, you’re family may not entirely understand your need for space just months after you have left, so gently remind what is yours and where your space is. It’s also make the next time you come home much easier and your current stay more pleasant.

Friendships change as we make major changes in our lives, and going to college is no exception. You may notice that some of your friends have changed somewhat or that you have, for that matter. Maybe you don’t enjoy the same things you used to or something disconnected in your relationship. Not matter what, try to give the friendship some breathing room as well as some TLC. All may not be lost, you just may need some time to adjust (great lesson now and for life in general!).

No matter what the situation in your relationships when you first come home, just be patient with your loved ones and yourself. You may find that you just need to adjust, make changes or move on.

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