Transitioning Home for the Holidays

The holiday season is right around the corner, and regardless of what you celebrate, going home for the holidays can be a fun and exciting time for both you and your family. However, being that this may be your first extended period home with family since you moved on campus, we know that transitioning back home for the holidays can also come with some challenges and growing pains. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to keep in mind in anticipation of going home in just a few weeks.


Things May Look Different

When you get back home, understand that things might look a little different. These things could be minor changes, such as the couch now being on the opposite side of the living room, changes in décor, a new pet, or new snacks in the pantry. Some changes can be more eye-opening, such as your younger sibling being a few inches taller than the last time you saw them. It is important to understand that all of these things are okay and normal as time goes by. Think about how much change and adapting you went through during your first semester of college. Your family is going to notice differences in you as well, whether or not you realize those differences. This is all completely normal and expected!


You Have Changed

A lot of growing happens during your first semester of college, and in more ways than one! Your family might be surprised that your hair has gotten longer (or shorter) or that you changed your style and much more. Aside from physical changes, you have also grown and built upon yourself emotionally and mentally as well. Being on your own for the first time, you have had the opportunity to grow into adulthood and learn more about who you are. You might have formed some new beliefs or opinions, tried a new campus ministry, or maybe you are now more organized than you used to be. All of these things come naturally with spreading your wings and growing into adulthood. Hopefully your family is proud of the growth you’ve done over the last semester and the person you are becoming. Be respectful and know that just because your opinions or perspectives on a few things may be different now, that doesn’t mean theirs are wrong or that you can’t love them and enjoy time together.


Setting Expectations

For most of you, this last semester has been the first time that you have lived alone. This was your first experience of making your own decisions, establishing your own schedule/routines, and being responsible for your choices. Transitioning back home for a more extended period of time might be hard for you to get used to being back under the same roof as your family. It might be a good idea to have a conversation with your family before returning home regarding what the expectations for your return might look like. For example, will you have a curfew or be expected to assist with household chores? Being home for an extended time can also cause you to fall back into old habits. Maybe while at Tech you’ve learned to keep your room really tidy and eat healthier, but an extended trip back home can cause you to fall back into old habits like not cleaning up after yourself and snacking more frequently. Pay attention if you feel tempted to fall back into old habits and remind yourself of the growth you have accomplished this last semester.


Don’t Compare

During this last semester, you have probably met a lot of new people. You have built new relationships, gained new friendships, and have been able to connect with others who might have had different experiences growing up. Their relationship with their parents might be different than yours: maybe you think that your roommate had more “freedom” growing up than you did, or vise versa. Keep in mind that parenting is not a one size fits all. What works for other people might not have worked for you and your family. Try not to compare and contrast the functioning of your household with what you may assume is happening at a friend’s house. Take pride in how your parents impacted you, as a person, and how you have become to person you are today.


We are so excited you are getting to go home for the holidays. We are sure that your family is going to be just as excited and proud of you for the young adult you are growing into while expanding your education here at Tech as we are. Be excited, soak it in and make all of the memories. But, if you need more advice or support either before or after transitioning home, make sure to reach out to Tech's Counseling Center.

We will see you next year!