Moving away from home for college and living without parental guidance is a huge adjustment. During the first long break my freshmen year, however, I realized that moving home after being away can be just as big of an adjustment. Here are a few weird things to expect about being home for the first time after being gone for so long.
Living in a dorm had me surrounded by people my age 24/7. These people were not likely to be offended if I dropped a few "f-bombs" every sentence or two. In fact, they probably fostered this type of language. I know I did. But when I got home for the first time, I had to make a very conscience effort not to drop one of those "f-bombs" at dinner with my grandma or in front of my parents' friends. I'm not trying to turn this into a PSA against cursing. I've been known to have the mouth of a sailor at times. I just think it is important to know when it is time to turn it off, and when you're home is one of those times.
One of my favorite parts of living in Bloomington is it's walkability and great public transportation. I absolutely hate driving. I am not good at it, and I panic way too easily. When I return to good ol' Floyd County, unless I am making a trip to a nearby cornfield, I have to drive my car to where ever it is I'm going. If I'm trying to do anything that has any entertainment value, I can expect a 30-minute drive to Louisville. Not only does this mean more panic attacks, but it also means more money spent on gas. In Bloomington I fill up my tank about once a month. When I'm home I fill up my tanke once a week.
During my first break home I decided to take a break from playing euchre and watching HGTV with my family, and I planned a night out with my friends. Finally 2 a.m. rolled around and everyone knew it was time for fourth meal. We just ordered some Pizza X or stopped for some quick Taco Bell drive-through, right? Wrong. I had quickly forgotten that by 10 p.m. most of the fast food places in my small hometown were closed. Unless you live in a big city or in a college town like Bloomington, don't make the same mistake as me. Plan ahead for your late night snack or you will be stuck eating grandma's left-over fruitcake.
All the things I've mentioned so far are important to expect when you return home, but the hardest adjustment is realizing you have to let your parents know what you're doing. In Bloomington I can get home at 3 a.m. and there's no one there waiting up worrying about me. When I came home the first time I thought I could do the same thing. I thought I could just tell my parents where I'd be and not worry about when I got home. After spending so much time alone, you have to make an effort to let your parents know where you are, what you're doing, and when you'll be home. Otherwise they will spend all night worrying about you. It's what parents do.