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What To Expect (And Not to Expect) On Your 1st Visit Home From College

It’s officially October, school’s been in session for over a month, and your parents keep calling to find out when you’re coming to visit (or when they can). This is the point in the semester where the campus food has started to wear thin and your laundry is piled in a corner. The thought of your bed, home cooked food, and familiar surroundings sounds nice right about now, correct?

Don’t start packing your suitcase just yet, because a visit home isn’t always a relaxing, stress-free getaway. You may see yourself as a grown-up college student, but your parents still see you as their kid. Keep this list in mind as you head home (or eagerly await your parental arrival), and you’ll survive any visitation.

Do expect your parents to tear up a little bit when they see you. Don’t comment on the water works; just hug the heck out of them.

Do expect lots of questions. From “Who all are you hanging out with?” to “How are the dorm showers?”, be prepared to answer anything.

Do expect big meals, whether it be your favorite take out or your parents’ specialty. Relish in this food, because you’ll be seeing Wright again soon.

Do expect a small family reunion. Your parents want to show that you’re surviving college, so be prepared to answer the door a lot for any family relations (or friends).

Do expect some laundry help. You’ve been slaving away over those textbooks, studying for hours, so your laundry is billowing over, am I right? Your parents will nod approvingly at your dedication all the while separating your whites and darks. TAKE THIS TIME TO THANK THEM. A LOT.

Do not expect complete freedom. Just because you stay out until dawn in Bloomington does not mean your parents are down for your college curfew. In their eyes, you’re still their five-year-old pumpkin. Talk to them about when they’d prefer you to be home, just to be on the safe side.

Do not expect the same room you left behind (especially if you have siblings). Now that you’re away at college, your parents’ may be getting that home decorating bug. Either your room will be completely different, or you’ll find a familiar dining chair set stacked in the corner. If you have siblings, room changes are an automatic go. Missing things are highly likely, and your bed may have a crease or two. Keep an eye out on your sibling’s Facebook for profile pictures in your room.

Do expect an abundance of snack foods to go back with you. All that studying makes for a hungry college student, and you need all the energy you can get. Casually drop hints about what you’ve been craving lately, and you can expect it among the packs of instant ramen and Easy Mac.

Do not expect all your friends to be flocking to see you. Now that graduation has come and gone and the summer is over, everyone has homework or jobs to deal with. Make sure to plan ahead and let your friends know you’re heading home. This way everyone can plan accordingly with zero stress.

Do expect a baby panic attack when heading back to school. After being home and seeing your family and loved ones, it isn’t easy to just pick up and leave again. Take some time on your last day to relax with your family and talk about the next visits to look forward to. Eat the best home cooking you can, take whatever leftovers can be spared, and live in that moment.

No matter your family situation, you can look forward to or cringe at one (or all) of these things. One last tip: don’t expect to do any homework when visiting home. Even if you take your textbooks, watching a cheesy movie with your family will win out every time.

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