Leaving university for Christmas is always a challenging time. On the one hand its exciting to head home for a bit, catch up with old school friends who you haven’t seen for a while, chill in front of the TV and be treated to some home cooked food (no more mystery meat from the dining halls on campus or a hearty meal of baked beans on toast for those in Lenton…). On the other hand, you have to readapt to living under your parents’ roof.
You have created a life for yourself at University but once you get back to the real world it is important to throw yourself back in and take advantage of all the opportunities you still have at home. Don’t forget to spend time with school friends, even though everybody’s lives have changed and different paths have been taken. Some friends may be scattered at universities across the country, and others may already be working. Whatever the case, you grew up with many of these people so even though they haven’t been in your day-to-day life for a while, a long catch up is way overdue. Plus it is exciting to hear about what’s new, if they have a lover in their life, and of course reminisce back to the days before you even knew that Crisis and Ocean existed.
Make sure to keep up with your work before the holidays. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can leave it all until you are home because you won't realise how busy you may be. Even relaxation time in front of the TV is necessary for you to recharge this Christmas after a busy semester, so try and get a head start on your exam revision and coursework now. Do remember to hand in your overdue library books before you leave or grab some books from Hallward because you may not have access to the material where you live.
The most important tip about returning home has to be not giving your parents any attitude. They are still your parents, so yes they will probably have a problem with you leaving your room a mess and not picking up after yourself, even though you may get away with this kind of behaviour for the first few days since they have ‘missed you so very much.’ You have to remember that, as grown up and independent as you feel, this is your family home and not your dorm room or off-campus house with friends where you can do as you please. And if you don’t like it, tough! You shouldn't disappear all night and do the walk of shame into your kitchen the next morning to find your parents sitting at the breakfast table with your younger siblings. Additionally, don't get frustrated when your parents ask you where you are going, who you are going out with and when you will return safely home and to go to sleep…alone. Of course if you are the chosen one who has been blessed with extremely liberal parents, then by all means treat your home life as an extension of uni. But we all hate you for it.
University is a confusing time for many of us because we are trapped in this weird limbo of being a child (Ahhhh Santa Clause is coming!) and an adult who wants to be treated as such. Remember to make the most of being a ‘kid’; you will miss your laundry being clean and fresh and the fridge packed full of Christmas food once you head back to Nottingham in January. So, make the most of being at home and seeing your family because eventually, you wont just live out of home on a temporarily basis at Uni, it will become a permanent reality in the near future. Unless the economy doesn’t recover…