Are you a college student going to college in your hometown? A first-time college student who’s never even set foot on a college campus? Or maybe you got as far as moving into your new dorm only to get sent right back home because a Covid-19 outbreak closed your campus. No matter the reason, if you’re back in your parent’s house this semester, or possibly the rest of your collegiate life, you’ll probably need a few tips to help you navigate this strange unknown world. A world where your first steps into adulthood, ironically, walked you straight into your parents’ living room.
If you have space in your parent’s house, try to carve out a spot or redecorate a room, that at least can mimic dorm and campus living. Whether that’s cleaning up the basement and moving down there, converting the dining room into a study hall, buying a microwave and small coffee pot for your bedroom, change a place in the home just enough to invoke a bit of that on-campus college experience.
Since you’re still under your parents’ roof, it’s perfectly fair to follow their rules, but do your best to establish some new rules of your own. Regardless of whether mom or dad wants to admit it, you have entered an adult phase of your life. Work on loosening a curfew or doing away with one altogether. Just as you would in college, ideally you would like to come and go, without having to explain where you’re going and when you’ll be back every time. Explain that you’d like to live a semblance of the college life you feel you’re being cheated out of. Promise to be responsible (you’re an adult now, remember? We expect adults to act responsibly.) It can’t hurt to ask.
You don’t have to share all your social whereabouts, but if others in the home know when you’re busy with school, they’ll be less likely to interrupt you. Hang a calendar or whiteboard in the kitchen and fill in dates for all exams, tests, class projects, assignments due, Zoom calls, and online classes. Bonus, this is a great way to keep track of your busy schedule.
Unless you’ve managed to establish some very lax rules and have some rather free-spirited parents, keep the awkward moments at bay by taking the partying and college romance elsewhere. If your parents are fine with a little pregame here and a boyfriend/girlfriend sleepover there, then hey, ride that wave! Just remember I told you so the minute you create any MEMOrIES OF ShAMe :::deep & very scary voice:::
College isn’t easy and there could be times when you’ll feel like you’re downright drowning. Though you may be bummed you’re missing out on campus life, there is still a lot of good that comes out of living with your parents and it’s not just home cooked meals and a never-ending stock of toilet paper. There is always someone right outside your door when things get tough.
If you’re stressing about a test or just your workload in general. If you’re frustrated because this isn’t the college experience you had expected or were looking forward to, talk to them about it. They may be giving you space for schoolwork, but they’re still there if you need them. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re having a hard time, when you’re stressed or when you need help. The more you talk and the more they know, the more understanding they’ll be when you have at least one, or fifty, inevitable college freak-outs.
We’ve got a few more tips for living at home with your parents in Part 2 of this guide.