You should try to get along with your family during the holidays

Photo Credit: Christiann Koepke on Unsplash

Photo Credit: Christiann Koepke on Unsplash

Going home for the holidays can be a big hassle, especially when you’re at school.

For a lot of people, going to university or college away from home is the first time they’ve had the chance to live on their own, so trying to make that transition back home can be incredibly jarring. The freedoms that they enjoyed while living on their own are suddenly clawed away as they find themselves back under their parents roof.

I personally can’t relate, as I’ve lived in Niagara my whole life, but I’ve heard from countless people just how explosive the trip home can be. Some of the routines you’ve grown accustomed to, not to mention the independence and personal responsibility all seem to melt away when you’re back home.

While this can certainly be annoying, I think for too many people this gets in the way of them enjoying time with their families, something we really should cherish while we’re in university.

While it might not seem like it, these few years are likely some of the last that you will spend under your parents roof (that is, if you’re able to afford a home to call your own once you graduate) and that can be really hard to accept for a lot of people. Having not known anything different than your parents being a few rooms away for the first 20 years of your life, it can be hard to imagine it any other way, but things change quickly.

While we might not be fully aware of this, our parents are, because they lived it 20-30 years ago when they were our age. What’s likely happening, especially in the case of empty nesters, is that when you come home for reading week and winter and summer break your parents are overcompensating for the fact that they know they don’t have many years left with you under their roof and they may not be ready to totally accept that.

I think that it’s important to recognize this so that we might be able to let go of our pride a little bit and enjoy some quality time with our parents, especially over the holidays. So if that means having to do some chores or taking a little bit more nagging for the few weeks at a time where you’re home with them, then so be it.

The point isn’t to feel guilty for wanting to be independent or to treat your parents like your distant senile relatives that you only see once or twice a year, but I think it would do us all some good to see them a bit more like humans and less like boogeymen like when we were little.

So if you can, take the time to appreciate your parents a bit more when you go home in a few weeks, make an effort to be a bit more agreeable, meet them halfway even when you think they’re being unreasonable, it really is the least you could do.

I know that given my personal experience, my view is different than others. There are certainly an abundance of home situations that are not healthy, that no amount of goodwill can fix. I acknowledge that and obviously those cases are different. But that doesn’t negate the fact that in so many instances, especially those I hear from friends, people do tend to come into situations ready to pick a fight.

There’s nothing to gain from going home and expecting the same level of freedom and independence you came to expect and enjoy while living away at school, that’s just unreasonable. Coming in with that type of attitude is only going to cause you to butt heads with them unnecessarily.

If you show your parents respect and maturity, they are way more likely to show it back to you and that should make the holidays better for everyone.

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