The 7 Best Things About Being Home

The 7 Best Things About Being Home

And why college students appreciate them.
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Coming home for the holidays is such a great feeling. After a stressful semester and then a long finals week, there really is nothing better. If you're like me, there are some things that you really do miss while being away at school. Here are 7 of the best things about being home for the holiday season.

1. Home cooked meals

Let's be honest-- dining food isn't always terrible, and you're own cooking isn't completely awful, but there is just something great about having a home cooked meal. Especially when that home cooked meal is cooked by mom and you don't have to do anything to prepare for it.

2. A stocked fridge

Another perk to being home is not having to buy your own food. Instead of having the few things you can afford in your tiny dorm refrigerator, you have a huge amount of food options right at your fingertips every time you walk into the kitchen.

3. A comfy bed

Dorm beds aren't too terrible, at least if you have a mattress pad. It is nice, however, to be back in your large, cozy bed where you can cuddle up under all of your blankets right at home.

4. Not sharing a room

For some, even at home this may not be a luxury. However, if you do have your own room at home, not sleeping 6 feet away from someone every night is comforting. And it provides you with time to recover from any of the illnesses you may be sharing with your roommate as your breathe the same air every single night.

5. Better Wi-Fi

The wi-fi at school is generally awful. With so many students connecting so many various devices at the same time, you feel lucky to get Snapchat stories to load quickly. However, at home, you don't have as many people to share the wi-fi with. This means faster download time and more Netflix for you!

6. Seeing all of your friends

This is one of my favorite parts about coming home. Instead of being states away and having to communicate through group messaging, Snapchat, and FaceTime, you are in the same area as all of your friends again. It's great to be able to go out late one night and spend hours at somebody's house just catching up on all that has been going on in your crazy college lives.

7. Spending time with family

Most importantly, being home means spending time with family. The people who helped get you to where you are today should not be forgotten about when you return home for a short holiday break. Being able to attend younger sibling's concerts and sporting events is one of the best parts of being home, and having time to watch TV with dad and bake cookies with mom is always a plus too. While there are many perks to coming home for the holidays, this one will always be the most important to me.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Communication Is Important

Whether it's your friend or significant other, you should feel comfortable talking and sharing your thoughts with them. Let them know how much you love having them in your life.
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When you adopt a puppy, you quickly learn that you have to train them. They could be chewing up your pillows or making a mess on the carpet. In order to stop that behavior, you scold them and let them know you dislike what they are doing. On the other hand, if they are behaving well, you reward them by giving them praise and treats. They start to learn what they must do to receive a positive reaction.

I’m not relating people to dogs, but we aren’t that different. If we spend an entire week studying for an exam, we hope to get a good grade on it. If we don’t then we begin to shut down and feel as though we can’t achieve our goal. But if we do get the grade we expect, we celebrate and continue to push ourselves since we know we are on the right track.

We should be treating our relationships and friendships similarly. By communicating to your friend or significant other that you appreciate how they treat you, they will know they’re doing something right. In contrast, when someone you care about treats you poorly and/or you dislike how they are acting, please communicate that to them. If you want someone in your life, you should show them the respect they deserve. Give them the opportunity to change their ways.

In any case, keeping someone in the dark is never the answer. Even though it would be a cool superpower, no one can read your mind. Bottling it all up will just cause you to eventually blow up in their face. Don’t delay the inevitable. Especially if you are upset, ignoring someone does not solve anything. Meet up with them in person. Texting a serious discussion is difficult since you can’t hear or see their sincerity which then leaves everything up for interpretation. Indeed, people feel more comfortable hiding behind a screen. That just allows them to lash out and not know the immediate repercussions of what they have said. I bet I’m not the only one who has sat on their bed, crying about a text that I had just received.

Nevertheless, there are cases where communication may not solve the problem. My sorority had a “healthy relationships” workshop this past week. We said communication was one attribute that would define a healthy relationship (platonic or romantic). One thing that stuck out to me was a term I hadn’t heard before – gaslighting. “Gaslight” is a verb meaning to “manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.” Some warning signs include: they tell blatant lies, their actions do not match their words, and they tell you or others that you are crazy. If any of these happen when you confront them, consider talking to your support system and see if they have noticed any of these signs. You deserve so much better than someone who does that to you.

All in all, talking to someone and telling them how you feel will benefit both of you. You can learn a lot about someone by having a heart-to-heart with them.

Cover Image Credit: static.pexels.com

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Dad, Thank You For All The Fun And Laughs You Bring To Our Family

You are, and will always be, the first guy to love me for all that I am.
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Age is just a number. I want you to know that. You may be middle age (double nickel specifically), but you are the funniest, wannabe hippest guy I know. There's a lot you have done for me and I want you to know what those things are.

You raised two daughters and lived with all women. It probably wasn't as bad when we were little but as soon as I got into middle school and the teenage years hit, I distinctly remember any time mom and I would get into a fight you would casually slip out of the room. You did your best when it came to dealing with our hormones and pointless, petty arguments.

You always find a way to put a smile on my face. I could be laying on the couch and you decide to make a funny comment or something to get my attention. You love getting a reaction out of all of us. Even when you are the only one laughing, it makes me happy. You may have really lame jokes, but what dad doesn't?

You are awkward but I absolutely love it.

I got it from you! Just like you and mom, I am always willing to start a conversation. But like you, it may be a completely random topic. Like the last you came up to school to visit me, you asked me, "So... are you failing any of your classes yet?" Now, you know I have never come close to failing a class, but you asked and it started a conversation and we didn't stop talking until I had to leave later that day. You may be awkward and not always know what to say, but you have your own way of saying it that makes it special to me.

You are the sole reason I am in love with professional sports.

You are the man that took me to my first NFL game. It was a preseason game because I was eight-years-old and mom thought it was inappropriate to take me to a regular season game (because of profanity). You taught me the rules and regulations of baseball and football. You sat on the couch with me watching baseball on TV. You also put up with me asking questions every two minutes when you would rather be listening to the commentary.

Who needs a son when you have a diehard sports fan that will talk baseball to you anytime! Because of you, I have the memory of getting my Instagram picture up on the jumbotron at Busch Stadium. Because of you, my dream job is work for the St. Louis Cardinals one day.

You support everything I do. When I was young, you and mom got me involved. You both signed me up for YMCA soccer and City softball. You both also signed me up for dance class and piano lessons. I continued with all three of those activities until one day, I realized I was not good at sports. However, I continued to dance in middle school in the theater department. I also took up singing.

By high school, I was a fine arts kid. Although sports were your forte, you supported me through it all. You and mom would be at all my concerts and theater productions. I still remember when my dance recital was over, mom would pick me up from backstage and you would be there with flowers and a big hug. Even when I'm in college, you get disappointed when you can't see a concert.

Even in college, you push me to follow my dreams. When I talk about auditioning for another show, you tell me to go for it! You continue to believe in me even when I don't believe in myself.

You are, and will always be the first guy to love me for all that I am. You've seen me disappointed, you've seen me excited, you've seen me heartbroken. I know that you will continue to love me no matter what I go through. I know it's hard for you to see your little girl grow up and date other people, but always know that I will always be your daughter and you will always be the first guy to ever love me.

What if someone told you 30 years ago that you would be married and have two daughters? You went from a family of all boys to your very own family of girls (including the dog). Would you believe it? When I ask, "Were you hoping for a boy?" and you always answer, "I just wanted you to be healthy." I know you want me to stay two-years-old forever and go to school at home, but you always seem to be proud and happy everytime I get home from school.

Age is just a number, but I love you, old man.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Pellock

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