Coming Home for the First Time

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Returning back home
Returning back home

No matter how far you move away from your home to attend college, you will always feel that sense of homesickness while you're gone. Eventually, that feeling goes away, and, before you know it, you're used to your surroundings and thriving amongst your new "family". So what happens when it's time to come home? Often, people feel overwhelmed. Here are some ways to cope with the feeling of being home for the first time and what to prepare for.

One of the things I hear from students the most about coming home from school for the first time is the curfew. For almost four months, you've been coming back as you have pleased, going to campus parties, events or the library for those late-night study sessions that you've forgotten what it was like for someone to tell you what time to come home. Then you do come back, and you're parents reinstate their 11 pm curfew. First of all, don't freak out! Think about it from their perspective. It's hard enough for them to know you do have the freedom to roam the campus and city as you please. Trust me, they know. To extend the freedom you enjoy every day and sound like a total adult (which helps!), sit your parents down one day and explain to them your plan. Have an 11 pm curfew? How about 12 am with a promise to call before you leave wherever you are. Simply let them know what's on your mind and state your case in a cool and calm manner. That will make both you and your parents feel happy.

Another is sharing space, whether that's with a sibling in a room or the house with your family. Don't forget your family may not entirely understand your need for space just months after you have left, so gently remind what is yours and where your space is. It also makes the next time you come home much easier and your current stay more pleasant.

Friendships change as we make significant changes in our lives, and going to college is no exception. You may notice that some of your friends have changed somewhat or that you have, for that matter. Maybe you don't enjoy the same things you used to or something disconnected in your relationship. Not matter what, try to give the friendship some breathing room as well as some TLC. All may not be lost, and you just may need some time to adjust (great lesson now and for life in general!).

No matter what the situation in your relationships when you first come home, just be patient with your loved ones and yourself. You may find that you just need to adjust, make changes or move on.

College Mentoring provides a network of thousands of college students that you can speak to by phone to get an understanding of what college life is like at a given school. Few online websites can save you time and money of visiting colleges to speak with students. They also offer a service that allows students to get their questions answered on the careers and majors they are considering by reaching directly out to a mentor that is willing to share their experience.

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