′tis The Season: College Students Flock Home

Article posted on Monday, December, 19th, 2011 at 9:59 am by Dr. Nancy Berk   (4 comments)

Preparing for my college student's return...

Thanksgiving Break gives families a tiny taste of togetherness, but it can be pretty misleading. Great food and “catch up” conversation, laundry services, and a quick turnaround back to campus makes for an easy transition. The long Winter Break? Well, that’s another story.

Below is my list of common student and parent pet peeves to watch out for over the holidays. They’re normal, but they’re easier to handle if you see them coming. Take a deep breath and hang onto your patience and that holiday spirit.

 Parent Pet Peeves

 1. The Popular Phrase: “I’m in college so you can’t tell me what to do.” Enough said.

2. The Social Media Frenzy: This is propelled by the need to stay connected, as in “I miss my college friends and will Skype and text them constantly until I return to campus.”

3. Their Superior Attitude: This has the “my life is cooler than yours” undertones as in “This town is so lame and boring, I don’t know how you can live here.”

4. The Kitchen Destruction: A college student let loose in a fully stocked pantry is always the recipe for chaos.

5. Their Sleep Schedule: Family meal planning is sabotaged. How can you schedule lunch when their breakfast happens at 2 p.m.?

College Student Pet Peeves

 1. The Questions: Parents delight in digging. They want to know about every class, professor, and friend you’ve encountered since September. They want to know if you’re happy and they’re not afraid to ask you. Over. And over. And over again.

2. The Hovering: Parents can’t help it. They have to make sure you’ve had enough helpings of mashed potatoes even though you said you were full 15 minutes ago.

3. The Clean Up Requirements: Parents have spent the last 3 months wandering in and out of your tidy room. They’ve become used to it. Your return is a shock to their system.

4. The Expectations: Yup, parents can’t shake the “You’ll live by my rules” attitude. They expect you to get up at the crack of noon, not wake up an entire household because you want to play video games or make macaroni and cheese at 3 a.m. Their inflexibility can drive you crazy.

5. The Dress Code Comments: When you return with a beard or have traded cargo pants for skinny jeans, expect parental commentary. Any dramatic apparel or hair change can lead to lengthy critiques. Old habits die hard. Add a tattoo or piercing to the mix and you’ve got some explaining to do.

Happy Holidays!

Leave a comment and let me know how you make your reunions work!

First published on CollegeProwler.com

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  • http://www.thymeinmygarden.com/ Chrissy

    This was my college graduate daughters first Christmas at home post college and she actually really enjoyed every minute. I think once they finish up and realize that now they are adults and are going to have to make their own Christmas magic they start to appreciate all the work that went into it for their entire life and *Gasp* say THANK YOU!

    I miss my snarky teens sometimes but I’m looking forward to (in a few years) snugly grandbabies.

  • http://www.drnancyberk.com Dr. Nancy Berk

    So glad your holidays were wonderful! Isn’t it amazing when they “get” it?
    Thanks so much for sharing! My fave comment was when my older son said “Yeah I wasn’t always easy.”

  • Sugarloco – Jenny

    You’re totally making me want to move to a place where my college kids won’t be able to find me…  ha! 

  • http://www.drnancyberk.com Dr. Nancy Berk

    Oh no, it’s fun when you’re not pulling your hair out!

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