Students Summer Weigh In
Summer is coming. Whether we have just finished our freshman year or our senior year of college, we still have the same excitement, concerns, and feels that our parents have. Coming home from college for summer is an adjustment for us too. We’ve been on our own, making decisions for ourselves, managing our lives, staying out late if we wanted to, just being independent so the idea of having to have “rules” is scary. Not that we don’t get it.
As a college student, the reinstatement of rules, curfews, and privacy were all a shock to our new life and learned daily habits. We want to be treated as adults and we also understand this is a transition for everyone. Here is our advice to make your summer home a sweet one.
Curfews: Like any normal parent, they are always worried about you leaving the house. For parents, this is one of the bigger annoyances since they were used to having curfews before we left for college. Even though you are in college, your parents will never get used to you leaving the house after 9 pm and coming back late. It is important that you sit down with your parents and let them know your plans. That way they feel a bit more comfortable when you step out of the house when they are perhaps getting ready for bed. Ultimately, it comes down to being respectful and having an open conversation and compromises about expectations. We agree that we should let our parents know when we would be home whether through text or a phone call or discussed in advance.
And, do not forget to take your keys. Having them be open to you going out late or staying out late will not last long if you have to wake them up in the wee hours to unlock the door. This became an easier thing to do the more we came home for visits.
Chores and helping out at home: Pick up around the house before they start complaining about your mess! Help with the dishes, fold the laundry, make your bed and ask if they need help running any errands. They are going to love the fact that you are helping out and you’ll start to hear them talk about you on the phone to their friends about how helpful you are! Perhaps they will agree to let your room be off-limits. You’d be surprised that after a few weeks of it looking like a war zone, we will actually clean it.
Balancing Friends and Family: We love sharing stories about our lives but we also want to see our childhood friends and our new college friends. Trying to balance friends and family presented a challenge. We recommend making time for family and doing something with them – not only will it be fun but also a reminder of how it was before we went away to school. Being present and giving them our attention meant quality family time. As visits went by over the years, we remembered what made being home so special.
Working: If you do not have a job for the summer, we recommend you look for part-time jobs around your hometown. Even if you are taking classes, having to ask your parents for money every time you make plans is not going to help your cause about being looked at as an adult. Look around for retail or restaurant part-time positions to help out throughout the summer. This way you can make some extra cash during some downtime and possibly add to your resume at the same time!
Coming home for the summer feels like a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders because we finished a year of hard work, studying, and constant activities. Over the course of the school year, it may feel like we have no time to ourselves, which is why we look forward to summer. We get a few months off from school to go back home, travel, hang out with friends, and spend quality time with family. We want it to be a great summer without tension or stress and want to be looked at as an adult that managed their lives for almost an entire year.
By being honest and sharing our opinions, we too think you can come up with a compromise that works for you and your family. Want to know what they are thinking (not that it will be a surprise)? Read the parents’ perspective.
Shelly Massre, UCF
Rebecca Strauss, UF
Avery Hinchmann, FSU
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