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The 8 Stages of Visiting Home

It’s always weird going home after a while, whether only for a weekend or for winter break. You suddenly seem like a stranger in your own house. Everything has changed. Maybe your parents try extra hard to make everything the same, but you can’t handle it and kind of miss not living on your own. Here are some of the things that a happen when you come home after being away at college.

1. You’re afraid your pets have forgotten you. You get home, and your pug Chubby attacks you. Yet you can’t help but wonder if he does this because he loves you or because he just wants a belly-rub. When he sleeps in your sister’s bed instead of your own, you realize he truly is a little traitor.

2. You find your bedroom furniture is no longer in your room Your younger brother has upgraded to your full-sized mattress and you’re stuck crammed into his stained twin bed. Or even worse, you don’t have a bedroom! Your sanctuary is now dad’s new man cave or mom’s new crafting corner. Can you say “Helloooo couch!”?

3. You suddenly have a curfew again Nights out in Gainesville last until 3 a.m., whether it be cramming for a midterm at Library West or partying like it’s your birthday, you’re used to late nights. Now mom and dad won’t let you see a movie if it starts past 11:30.

4. Every adult family member will inquire about your future career “So how will you make money with an English degree, honey?” your nosy aunt will inquire.  You’re already under so much pressure, and relatives are adding to it.

5. You will have back-to-back appointments to attend By the time you go back to school, it will seem like you’ve seen your dentist, eye doctor and hair dresser more than your own parents. And you will have to endure those painful conversations about your major again.

6. You will miss your college boo thang Your boyfriend, girlfriend or the person you’re “talking to” now lives completely across the state instead of across campus. Now you can sympathize with your roommate and her long-distance relationship. Also, if your parents find out you’re seeing someone, they’ll play 20 questions trying to plan your future wedding.

7. Homemade meals become food of the gods Your mom, or in my case my grandma, will clear the pantry making every food craving you’ve had since leaving home, from meatloaf to key lime pie. Even when you insist you’re full, they’ll give you more. Then later on, your family will make fun of that extra weight you’ve gained since heading to college.

8. After one day of being with your family, you want to escape back to school You now remember why you always called your dad crazy and your mom overbearing. Your siblings won’t stop fighting, and you can’t get any privacy. How is it that your memory failed you so badly? What you remember as a land of paradise just isn’t the same as when you headed off to college.

As horrible as it may seem being home, you have to admit it’s not that bad. There’s no other place in the world where you’ll be surrounded by a group of people who love you as much as your family does. Have patience with your mom’s nagging questions and dad’s protective attitude because one day you’ll miss making these unexpected trips.

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