Being home for the holidays can mean several different things. It can mean festive activities and yummy treats, or it can mean existential headaches created by your family. For me? Its the latter.
Like most students, I find myself at some point in every semester counting down the days until a break. The stress and the workload all become too much and I find myself constantly looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Once I reach the light however, I find myself wondering why in the world I was so excited to return to drama and annoyances in the first place.
Imagine this: you drive fourteen hours just to get home after a long semester and you couldn’t be more excited to see your family. In fact, as you are driving and begin to think about getting there you feel as if you could cry. You finally see your street and make your way up the driveway and walk into the house. Your mom envelopes you in a hug as your dad remains on the couch and greets you with a simply, “aye, you’re back.” Hm… ok… Anyway, it is late and you just drove fourteen hours so you walk into the serenity of your own room and you fall asleep within seconds. You wake up the next day feeling refreshed and eager to hang out with your family only to walk into an argument in the living room. Your dad and brother are arguing yet again about jobs and who does more around the house and somehow you, the person who doesn’t even live there, gets sucked into the argument and get yelled at for not helping out around the house. How wonderful right?
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I enjoy being around them… most of the time. But theres a large part of me that firmly believes that family visits should only span a few days. Upon my arrival, they expect me to go back into my previous role and do all of my old chores. Normally this would be fine, but they make me feel guilty if I want to have a day where I just rest and relax. In their heads, college consists of nothing but naps and movie days with my friends. In reality it is nothing but school work, stress, two jobs, and two research projects that leave me feeling drained. When I go home I just want to relax and spend my small break doing all of my favorite things, like skiing or reading. And while I can do these things it is significantly harder when I have the disapproving stare of my mother while everyone else is on their way out the door for work.
Well I've decided that this year the break is for me. I'm going to do the things I want and enjoy my vacation away from school the way I want. I'll make sure to wave to them from the top of the mountain before I ski down it.