After your last final is done you can finally breathe. Although you're relieved to be done with all of your exams and papers, saying goodbye to your best friends is the sad part. When you get home, you realize just how much you needed them by your side. But that's not all you realize. You realize just how much of a bubble you are in when you're away at school. Going home and becoming "a person again" is a struggle that, while it is temporary, is a true hardship in and of itself. Don't believe me? Well, here are the struggles I have faced after I returning home from school.
1. You're tired...all of the time.
One thing you didn't realize while away at school is just how much energy you used. I constantly wonder how I managed to work so hard, hangout all the time, and wake up early for class without feeling like a sack of potatoes. When I got home for the first few days all I did was sleep. I felt like I couldn't rest enough. But it's good to get rest and take it easy for a few days. Just don't throw the summer away by sleeping all the time.
2. Getting back into the habit of working out is soooo hard.
When you're plagued with fatigue and missed the comfort of your own home, getting back into a workout routine is challenging. Its hard to get out of bed and run three miles. Three hours of Netflix just sounds more appealing than three miles of running. But I realized once I got back into working out it's easy to go everyday and it feels great to exercise again. Even going with friends can help motivate you and keep you on a schedule. Ease back into the workouts and trust me you will feel amazing.
3. Finding a job is no slice of pie.
If you don't have an internship or job set for you when you get back from school finding a job can be pretty difficult and annoying. If your parents are anything like mine, they were asking you if you've reached out or applied anywhere even before finals began. Working is the last thing I was thinking about when I was at school, and it is something I've been dreading starting. But if you find a fun place, maybe even a local place just to earn a little bit of cash for your pocket so you don't need to ask your parents every five minutes, you'll definitely feel better about spending money.
4. Getting structure back is a process.
One great thing about college is the structure. You learn to schedule your time usefully and accordingly everyday. You know what your day will look like and when you will be doing what. But when you get back home, that structure disintegrates. You find yourself having so much time on your hands you may not know what to do with it. You just don't know where to start! But maintaining a relatively normal sleep schedule is important, having a job will help, and planing a workout schedule is fantastic. There are little things you can do to get a schedule back into your days and it will help you feel a lot more productive.
5. The freedoms of being away at school may not be the same freedoms as being at home.
One thing I am still not used to after being home almost two weeks is not being able to do whatever whenever and not having anyone to answer to. To say my parents are strict is an understatement, so learning to deal with their rules is something I am still adjusting to. But I am always reminding my parents of how much trust it takes to send a child away to school, so they should trust me when I go out with my friends...That argument doesn't always go over well, but I've learned to compromise with my parents. Sometimes staying home and spending time with your family or just taking it easy is better than going out and drinking your body weight all night.
6. Staying sharp when the only sharp thing I want is cheddar.
Taking a summer class is THE last thing I want to be doing over the summer. Ideally, I would like to be traveling, going to the beach, going to concerts, tie-dying in central park, and sleeping until I don't feel tired. Unfortunately, that just isn't what my summer will look like. It's important to keep learning over the summer which doesn't necessarily mean taking a summer class. You can read books, read the newspaper, take summer classes, and keep pursuing interests of yours to sharpen your skills and not being a complete bum over the summer. I know I love to read on the beach with a nice lemonade in my hand.
One thing is for sure: returning home after being away at school is definitely a challenge, but having amazing friends to go through the struggle with you really helps. You can help ease each other's transition back into a functioning member of society. And once you're back into the swing of things, the summer that is laid out in front of you has potential to be absolutely amazing. So, don't worry. You'll get back into it!