Going home for the holidays is strange after living at college


I was listening to holiday music on the drive home a few days ago when the classic Carpenters song “Home for the Holidays” came on the radio.

I had to laugh because A.) I was on my way home for the holidays and B.) It was 50-something and rainy outside.  Not typical weather for this time of year, but then when is Ohio weather ever predictable?

I had waited for this day for what had felt like forever.  I had tacked Post-it notes across my desk that read “7 days left,” “6 days left,” “5 days left” … finally, I had peeled the last one off and headed home.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably made it home safely, too.  How does it feel?  There is no place like home for the holidays — but after a long semester on my own, it feels a little strange.

Whether you’re rooming in a dorm or an apartment this year, the transition from school to home can be bittersweet.  This year, I’m living in my first apartment.  Living on my own has been quite a strange experience.  My apartment is a couple hours from home, so my parents never visit, which is nice —  until I need them.

Living on my own, I’ve learned how to handle dreaded chores and tough dilemmas.  I can now set up utilities, replace a broken toilet seat, bargain hunt and change a light bulb on a vaulted ceiling (don’t attempt this one).

As I was packing to go home, it occurred to me that it would be a pretty big change to live at home again for three weeks.  I was excited for all of the amenities of home like real food, real furniture and cable TV.  However, I was less than excited for nagging parents, Columbus traffic and a whole new set of chores and tasks, which unfortunately still included holiday shopping.

I’ve been home for a few days now, so I’ve had a taste of the good, the bad and the ugly.  I’m thoroughly enjoying my break, though, and I know it will be tough to leave in three weeks.

At home, I’m surrounded by cheerful holiday decorations, home-cooked food and loved ones.  I have all of the ingredients I need to make just about all of my favorite foods.  The location is pretty convenient, too.  I’m just minutes away from my boyfriend and his family and a short drive away from all of my favorite eateries — namely, Olive Garden, where I’ll go at least twice before I return to Bowling Green.

Sure, I’ve temporarily surrendered my independence.  I’ve sat through at least 10 episodes of my father’s favorite television shows, none of which have any appeal to my generation.  The roles of babysitter and errand-runner have been placed upon me.  Being home has been a little sad, too, because we recently lost our family Labrador.

If you’ve run into any hurdles of your own since you’ve been home — early curfews, bantering siblings, intrusive relatives or all of the above — just take a deep breath and consider the bright side.  Exams are over, the long semester is behind us and we might even see some snow.

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