After eighteen years of living under the same roof with the same people, you finally make your way to college. There are new faces, new lifestyles, no rules, and you take charge of yourself. The structure that your family gave you now only exists when you return home during breaks. But, being away makes you realize a few things about your family other than “I’m free!”
1. They are very good at pushing your buttons. In fact they know how to stress you out from five states away. “What’d you get on your test?” “Are you making friends?” “I want you in the library every day.” “You should probably go to the gym.” “Are you joining a sorority?” “Get involved in more clubs.” “Do you miss me? I’ll call you tomorrow.”
2. They’ll go on vacation without you. People asked me if I was going away for spring break. Unfortunately, my parents couldn’t take off of work the week of my spring break because they were already scheduled to take my sisters to Mexico the week after. Thanks mom and dad.
3. They’re crazy. I know I go slightly insane every time I go home because I’m not used to having someone keep tabs on me. How did I ever spend more than four weeks in that house?
4. You get along better not having to live with them. You can love them with your whole heart and not be able to live under the same roof. Luckily, the distance makes it easier.
5. They start looking at your Facebook posts. Every parent makes it a rule that you must be friends with them if you want to have certain social media accounts. Unfortunately, when they get curious, they notice that you’ve blocked them. “Who’s that boy in your pictures?” “Are you dating?” “What does ‘you’re talking’ mean?”
6. Remember when they stressed you out about finals? They would say, “You can’t go out with your friends. School, practice, home.” Now they send study care packages and cookies.
7. You used to give anything just for a week away from the madness, but you cry every time you go back to school after a break.
8. They’ll surprise you. If you mention that you’d love some Christmas lights to hang on your walls, they might just end up in the post office for you the next week.
9. They miss you. They might have yelled at you, they might have been counting the days until move-in, but they’d give anything to be able to see you everyday.
And of course, they love you. Unconditionally.