Most college first-years decide to go home during the summer. They want to go back to their hometown to sleep, eat, see friends and family, relax …you know what I’m talking about because you’re probably planning on doing the same thing. Have you thought about what it’s going to be like when you get back home? Do you think this summer will be different from previous summers when you were in high school?
The fact is that many college freshmen plan to keep their regular college schedule during their first summer back home. They’ve been on their own, handling their college responsibilities with no curfews for almost a year now.
Parents May Expect High School Curfew
However, Mom and Dad may still be comfortable with the high school schedule and curfew. They want to spend the summer having you home again and being part of the daily family activities and interactions.
What can happen is a conflict between the parent(s) and the student because both parties have completely different expectations and goals for the summer. You are comfortable with one lifestyle and your parents are comfortable with something different. The stage is set for a very interesting and dramatic summer.
Communicate and Discuss Expectations
Wouldn’t you like to avoid this drama by finding some kind of agreement or middle ground? If so, then there is a very easy, proactive way to fix the problems before they even start. All it takes is an hour of your time and open communication.
Remember when you sat down with your new roommate back in August and communicated with them about your individual differences and preferences? It helped you to better understand your roommate and vice-versa. You compromised, established boundaries, and created guidelines that both people were happy with.
Believe it or not, but that’s what you can and should do with your parents. Talk with them about your new lifestyle habits and listen to their comments, concerns, and expectations. Compromise on some things, establish boundaries for privacy, and create guidelines that are fair and considerate for both parties.
If you do this, you will avoid a lot of needless arguments during the summer. You will also show your parents that you’ve matured in the last year, allowing them to trust and respect you more.
Communication is the key to a great summer living at home. If you aren’t sure how to start this conversation with your parents, then ask your RA for the advice. I’m sure they have some great ideas and advice after spending last summer at home, too.
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