Home For The Holidays: From The Black Sheep's Perspective

Home For The Holidays: From The Black Sheep's Perspective

Some things are better left unsaid.

Even though my university is 15 minutes from the house in which I grew up and where my family still lives, I am rarely home. Studying, working and doing other college-student activities keep me occupied on campus. So, spending the holidays with my family is great and fulfilling because I barely get to see them when I am at school.

I love my family. I am fortunate to have parents that love me and support me both emotionally and financially. However, as I get older and approach the end of my undergraduate career pursuing a major in journalism, I have come to realize that I have vast ideological differences compared to my family.

It is your average white, middle-class, midwestern four-person household that lives in the suburbs of Minneapolis. That being said, their interests run fairly steady with an average midwestern family--they love sports, have conservative-leaning political views, hunt and hang out at neighborhood taverns with long-time friends from high school (which is less than ten minutes away).

I share many characteristics with my parents, including their humor, responsive tendencies and rather profane vocabulary. But there are other attributes I do not share and, as I grow older, this divide has deepened.

These differences are more profound than our bond over Jim Carrey’s performance in "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and Sebastian Maniscalo's stand-up comedy. It is the beliefs I hold, which I don't feel my family acknowledges, that reflect who I am as a whole. I begin to wonder if my family even knows me--leading me to realize, I am the family's black sheep.

Being the black sheep in the family can be exhaustive in that you feel rather under-appreciated. My aspirations, my interests and my goals are very different than those of my parents. This becomes a problem because it is something I obviously want to discuss, but half the time it’s a one-way street, and I am not being fully listened to or understood. It’s almost as if when I talk about what I study and what I want to do with that, I either get a minimal response, a confusing response, or the worst— no response at all.

It’s not that I ridicule my family for their passion for sporting events. Good for you, that is awesome. Rock on, do what makes you happy.

It's not that they don’t understand my choice to be vegan; and it’s not their constant preaching of their beliefs.

It’s the isolating feeling that comes with being the black sheep of the family, and especially over the long span of the holidays. And my family would agree that I am dissimilar.

This is not meant to be a rant, but if I hear the word hockey one more time in the next 24 hours I may have to evict myself from this three-week staycation.

Hockey, football, golf, baseball. It’s an obsession, especially with my 17-year-old brother’s participation in sporting activities (during the holidays, it's hockey.)

What's more is that politics can rarely be discussed within the household. My family has rather polarized views and can get defensive toward ideas that differ from their own.

I think it is a shame that something so important is such a fragile subject. Maybe it used to be easy to suppress political beliefs, but in the climate we live in today, it is close to impossible to bite your tongue about important issues...like the leader of our nation. I study journalism. This is a subject in which I am interested and yearn to talk about with the people whom I love most. But, it is extremely difficult to say anything without some sort of stale reaction.

I feel like an alien. I want to talk about what’s happening in the news, the world and culture. But usually, dinner-table conversation highlights one of my family member’s disgust with the Eagles beating the Raiders and losing points in their fantasy football league. Sometimes, I will bring something up that I am writing about and my family will be engaged for 1/10 of the time they are for talking about the local golf course closing. But that's normal; it wouldn't be family dinner if someone wasn't criticized for their political views.

At the end of the day, I care deeply for my family and love them very much. But as I get older and become immersed in the world, my views and personality are developing. It looks as if it is going in a direction far from that of my parents.

This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But spending this much time back home definitely opens my eyes to the differences between me and my family members. It makes me sad, but it also makes me realize that I am my own person.

I am their daughter, but I possess a conscience and brain that thinks the way it does because of my own experiences, evolving into the fully fledged adult I will soon come to be.

I love my family, and some things you have to turn the other cheek to. This is a battle I can’t fight. And anyways, I am a pacifist. You should hear how they feel about that. That was a joke.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.wweek.com/arts/2015/11/18/thanksgiving-crapshoot/

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50 One-Liners College Girls Swap With Their Roomies As Much As They Swap Clothes

"What would I do without you guys???"

1. "Can I wear your shirt out tonight?"

2. "Does my hair look greasy?"

3. "We should probably clean tomorrow..."

4. "What should I caption this??"

5. "Is it bad if I text ____ first??"

6. "Should we order pizza?"

7. *Roommate tells an entire story* "Wait, what?"

8. "How is it already 3 AM?"

9. "I need a drink."

10. "McDonalds? McDonalds."


12. "Okay like, for real, I need to study."

13. "Why is there so much hair on our floor?"

14. "I think I'm broke."

15. "What do I respond to this?"

16. "Let's have a movie night."

17. "Why are we so weird?"

18. "Do you think people will notice if I wear this 2 days in a row?"

19. "That guy is so stupid."

20. "Do I look fat in this?"

21. "Can I borrow your phone charger?

22. "Wanna go to the lib tonight?"

23. "OK, we really need to go to the gym soon."

24. "I kinda want some taco bell."

25. "Let's go out tonight."

26. "I wonder what other people on this floor think of us."

27. "Let's go to the mall."

28. "Can I use your straightener?"

29. "I need coffee."

30. "I'm bored, come back to the room."

31. "Should we go home this weekend?"

32. "We should probably do laundry soon."

33. "Can you see through these pants?"

34. "Sometimes I feel like our room is a frat house..."

35. "Guys I swear I don't like him anymore."

36."Can I borrow a pencil?"

37. "I need to get my life together...."

38. "So who's buying the Uber tonight?"

39. "Let's walk to class together."

40. "Are we really pulling an all-nighter tonight?"

41. "Who's taking out the trash?"

42. "What happened last night?"

43. "Can you help me do my hair?"

44. "What should I wear tonight?"

45. "You're not allowed to talk to him tonight."

46. "OMG, my phone is at 1 percent."

47. "Should we skip class?"

48. "What should we be for Halloween?"

49. "I love our room."

50. "What would I do without you guys???"

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Gabaldon

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The Glory Of Moving Far, Far Away

There is beauty in new beginnings.


In this day and age, people everywhere seem to have wanderlust. I like to say that July is when it is at its peak, especially for me. I am now adjusting to life in Coatesville, Pennsylvania with my family after moving from our previous home in Greensboro, North Carolina.

This is not my first time moving away, and it will certainly not be the last one either, but it still feels different to me. The main reason for that is because this is my last summer before I graduate from college.

It not only marks the end of my entire childhood, but it symbolizes the end of freedom. While I am still familiarizing myself with my new home, I want to take the time to write down how I feel right now.

Finding New Places

I am originally from Blacksburg, Virginia. I spent most of elementary school there, and I managed to stay for all four years of high-school as well.

So, it is safe to say that I know it pretty well. I loved living there, but I fell into this routine of frequency. I knew where I wanted to go out to eat and what movie theater I liked the most.

However, all of the places in Coatesville are new to me right now. Who knows what kind of memories I will have from all of the restaurants and stores here?

There is beauty in new beginnings, and I am already looking forward to stepping into a Wawa.

Happiness At Home

Fortunately, the moving process went very smoothly from the beginning for all of us. I kept the necessary belongings with me for the car ride and reunited with my other belongings quickly since the movers arrived the day after us.

One of my favorite things about coming to a new house is having a different room. I like sorting all of my stuff and thinking of crafty ways to arrange everything. The yellow walls actually closely resemble my dorm room which helps me think of ideas for the upcoming semester.

Plus, I have two side-by-side windows which give me a gorgeous view to our front yard. The first observation I made was all of the green surrounding us. The trees and grass just paint the entire neighborhood. It must be a sign for me to relax and enjoy the outdoors from time to time.

Make It Count Every Day

Like everything else in life, summer does not last forever. Even though it is not always easy to live in a new place, I am determined to make the most of it.

On one of our first nights at our new house, my sister chose the movie "Titanic" to watch that night. This is my most beloved movie and it made me feel more at home.

I cannot finish this section without giving credit to Jack Dawson. He once said, "I figure life is a gift and I do not intend on wasting it."

Since it has been almost a week since our journey here started, we have become accustomed to our family rituals including walking the dogs around the circle and watching the weekly showings of "America's Got Talent."

I am so glad that I have the chance to live in Pennsylvania and I am looking forward to the future. I am now more inspired to explore the area around me and learn more about myself.

Cover Image Credit:

Danielle Neron

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