While most people are very excited to go home to their families, friends, summer vacations, and more, there are the people like me who aren’t looking forward to going home. If you’re anything like me, you probably aren’t too fond of your hometown and/or home life. Even though I have my amazing friends and plans for the summer, I dread how I’m gonna be away from the place I have called home for the past eight months. But, I know I’m not alone in this feeling. So, here are some tips for how we can cope this summer until school starts back up!
Stay in contact with your buddies
I know that staying in contact with your friends sounds kind of obvious, but it’s a lot more than FaceTiming everyone once in and while; it’s taking the extra steps to actively go out and hang out and interact with your college friend group. There are bound to be many people that feel the same way you do, and it’s always good to have regular contact with your college friends to make plans and hang out, if possible. Plus, your hometown group of friends is also important. They missed you and maybe are missing their college friends, too. These issues are great to bond with each other about, as it helps make things seem less scary.
Remember that you aren’t alone
I know personally that it feels like everyone in my life is excited to see their family and their hometown, and it feels like I’m the only person who just wants August to come quickly. As I’ve been expressing my anxiety surrounding going home, my friends have opened up to me telling me they feel the same way. Considering that this is a less popular idea, many feel like they shouldn’t talk about being discouraged from going home because everyone else is so happy. It is okay to talk about these feelings, this is how we find support from the people around us. We can all work together in making the summer more enjoyable.
Unless you have trips and or vacations set up, you might be like me and just think this summer is meant for working full time and avoiding people you went to high school with in public. But if you step back and look at your town, your friends, your family, and your life, you can make plans to have some days where you go out and enjoy your time off. And as COVID restrictions and lowering (and hopefully continuing to stay steady) you can use this time to find the joy in your home, maybe you can try something new, or make a travel plan with friends.
Don’t be afraid to reach out
Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Many of us have felt a disconnect from our homes due to being gone for so long, and when returning for breaks we usually have a short window of time before we go back to school. But now this window is bigger, and it may feel more permanent, and that feeling of not belonging can have a toll on our mental health. It is completely normal to tell people you trust that you feel overwhelmed with being home, and it doesn’t hurt to ask for help, like going to counseling and or therapy. You should feel comfortable when you are home, and reaching out for help is nothing shameful.
Time flies when you’re having fun :) or when you’re working 40 hours a week to pass the time :(. Either way, keeping busy with summer classes, work, vacations, or hobbies will help make the time not only go faster but be more enjoyable. If you sit in your room all summer, it will take a toll on you, so go outside. Enjoy the warm (or scolding hot) weather and keep on pushing through this time away from college
get excited about coming back
Regardless if you are finishing out your first year, or about to transition to your senior year, there are new and exciting opportunities waiting when you come back to school. All of the things you loved when you first came you will love more because of your absence. You can help the new students get excited about joining your school. This break may be long, but good things await when you return to school.
Despite how daunting going home may seem, there are always ways you can make your time away from school more enjoyable. It might not feel like home anymore, but it’s a place that made you who you are, and you can find the bits and pieces of happiness within it.