To those of you who graduated, congratulations! To those of you going back again next year, pele. To those of you who aren't sure...welcome to the club.
Now that you've finished your exams, the real test begins. Can you make it through the next three months at your parents' house?
Sure, you missed Mom's cooking. You missed their internet. You missed not having to scramble for quarters on laundry day. You missed the sweet, sweet relief of a long shower with hot water paid for with other people's money. But can you survive being back under their rules after a year of freedom?
Unless you're lucky enough to have found a place for the summer, you're going to need to readjust to living back at home. And fast. As you pack up your belongings and tearfully part from your roommates...
Here are ten tips that have helped me get through the past few *redacted*.
Tip #1: It's their house. Not yours.
Their rules...rule. I know you're used to stumbling back to your dorm/apartment at 5am on a Saturday morning with a Smirnoff bottle in one hand and a bag of Cheetos in the other, but those days are over.
No more loud study groups that turn into louder Scandal parties. No more Margarita Mondays. No more bloody mary's and boozy brunches, Saturday mornings are now for church music and deep cleaning.
Tip #2: Drinking will decrease.
It's just not good manners to be in someone else's house and drink until the closet seems like a good place to take a nap. This will be good, as you will cut back on hangover headaches. This will be bad, as dealing with parents is often a lot easier after a drink. Or six.
Flasks. Flasks are very important.
Tip #3: For my natural ladies, I know you've become accustomed to using grocery money to make DIY hair masks and hot oil treatments, but try not to flip out when your mom mistakes your avocado pre-poo for garbage...or worse, guacamole. She didn't watch that Hey Fran Hey video with you. (Also, if living with roommates hasn't taught you to label what you put in the fridge by now...girl, God bless.)
Tip #4: They may treat you like they did before you left for school. Or, they might get even stricter.
Obey your curfew. Yes, it sucks. Yes, you're (legally) an adult. Yes, I know parties don't really even get good until midnight. But, it's way easier to deal with missing a couple hours of dancing in the corner with your girlfriends (and your handbags) than it is to deal with your parent b*tching and moaning for the next week over you being 45 minutes late.
Tip #5: Maintain your sanity any way you can. It's crucial.
Find a job. Or a volunteer opportunity. Now, jobs aren't exactly falling out of the skies for all of us. So if the job search is yielding little to no results, find a hobby. YouTube, blogging, sewing, hair, nails, sports, working out...something. Find something constructive to do with your time...and hold tight to it.
Tip #6: Have a plan.
How long are you planning to stay? Are you back home for the summer? Six months? Two years? Sit down and have a (tentative) plan. Trust me, it's a lot easier being able to swallow being forced back into the sibling dish washing schedule when you've got an idea of just how long you'll be home. And T-R-U-S-T me, those plans will change. So be flexible.
Tip #7: Try and put things in perspective.
You're an adult now, you (hopefully) have some understanding of the economy, the workings of the world and so on. It could be worse. Your parents could very well not afford to have you back home. You could have fallen out with them, and they may not allow you back home. You could not have parents. I mean, there are a lot worse things in the world than having to do chores again.
Tip #8: Be considerate.
You've spent a whole two semesters doing what you wanted, when you wanted. But now that you're back home, try and be a bit more thoughtful. Especially if your parents are nice enough to foot the bill while you're back. Hopefully this lends itself to you understanding why they complain when you take 30 minute showers. Or wash your clothes twice a week. Or forget to fill the tank. Or leave the lights on. Or blow-dry your hair with the music going and your flat-iron plugged in. Or...you get the point.
Tip #9: That taste of freedom that's still fresh on your tongue? Don't let it fade away.
Go on vacations. Plenty of them. As many as your budget will allow. Whether it be week-long trips to a tropical beach, or a one-nighter at a local bed & breakfast, take some time away. Or just plan them in your head. Some times, just the thought of a vacation is enough to put your mind at ease.
And if all else fails...
Tip #10: Find a good group of friends. With apartments.
Here's to hoping you all have a safe and fun summer. Be sure to let me know which was your favorite tip! And if you've got any more to share, comment below, or find me on Twitter (@Chinaija)!