Finals are over! You can smell the home cooking over the dirty laundry in your luggage awaiting a quarter-less washing machine at home.

Your bed—not the dorm bed you have endured the past three or four months—awaits your body’s collapse for a Rip Van Winkle-like sleep. And then there is home cooking—not the meal plan back at college and not three-day-old pizza—that awaits your taste buds and stomach that reminds you, there’s no place like home.

Tips for Coming Home from College for the Holidays

Expectations

Everyone has expectations when you come home for the holidays. Your parents want to spend time with you because they have missed you. Siblings may or may not want to spend time with you and they may or may not have missed you (reality check, they may have already taken over your old room). You have missed friends or possibly your boyfriend who went to a different college. But one thing is certain: there are unspoken expectations that need to be communicated.

Prior to coming home, talk to your parents about what they have planned for your trip home. Are there any family events you need to know about? Will there be time for you to visit with friends? If you have a weekend trip planned with your friends, share with them your plans and when you are planning to be away. The more you communicate prior to heading home, the less tension there will be when you get home and the less hurt feelings.

Help Out Without Being Asked

Often times your family will expect you to help out when you are home. This might include driving younger siblings around, shopping for Christmas gifts, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, doing chores around the house to get ready for guests, or even helping cook.

Ask your parents if they need help with anything, clean the bathroom without being asked, and do the dishes after dinner without being asked. This is a sign of maturity. Don’t wait for your parents to ask you to do something; instead, see a need and just respond. It shows your parents you can take care of yourself and that you have been taking care of your self for the past few months. It will go a long way to show respect but it will also help them see the amazing woman you have become.

Self Care

During the first semester or quarter, you are not friends with your alarm. Your parents are not going to fully comprehend that your brain has been overworked and you are tired! That and you probably have not been keeping the same schedule you kept as a high school senior. You are used to studying till 9 or 10 p.m. and then going out with friends until the morning hours. Your parents probably don’t know this, but you might want to fill them in instead of hiding it. Be transparent with your parents and it will go a long way.

Also, do what you would normally do for self-care. If you are used to working out or going for a run, do it. If you have become vegan, warn your parents and offer to hit Whole Foods with them to share how you have been eating. Maybe you just want to watch the Hallmark Chanel and binge Hallmark Christmas movies (no judgment).

Basically, be sure to care for your self as much as you care for the ones you love most during the holidays.

Relationships

Your first Christmas home is always a time where you reconnect with your high school friends you have been texting and FaceTiming with for months. But be prepared for these relationships to be different. You have changed, so it can only be assumed your friends have changed as well. If you have kept up a long distance relationship, your boyfriend more than likely has changed as well.

This might mean there are some honest conversations that need to happen, possibly even some distancing of relationships or break ups. For some, you might find that you have grown closer because of the distance

Source: Blessed Is She

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