WRITTEN BY: SAMANTHA FORD
It isn’t too safe to say that everyone loves the holidays. Although, gift giving, pie eating, and sharing memories with the ones you love is always a wonderful thing, college students can all agree that there are still reasons to dread coming home for the month long break. The five main reasons are as follows:
ONE: The Over-Asked Question
College students arriving home for the holidays are well prepared for the one question that will be asked over and over again throughout the entire break — “How is school?” Well, let me go ahead and let everyone know now: The answer will always be the same — “Good.” That is because we don’t have the nerve to go and tell you the truth: “Finals were brutal.” “I crammed a semester’s worth of work in to one week.” “I pulled 3 all-nighters and am still hung over from two days ago.” We also know that you have nothing else to ask us because you haven’t seen us in over a few months. Save yourself the time and don’t waste your breath. I’ll pour us both a drink instead and we can cheers to the grades that we are crossing our fingers for because let’s face it…we have no idea what the outcome is going to be.
TWO: Buying Gifts With an Empty Wallet
Being a full-time college student makes it difficult to make money. Not to mention, that the tuition, housing, and grocery fees completely wipe out our entire bank account. Therefore, while others are excited about giving the gifts that they know their loved ones will enjoy, we are sitting on the other side feeling guilty about the lack of presents we have in exchange. Get used to homemade gifts from your college friends or family members because that is about all we can afford. And for those who aren’t the “do it yourself” type of person, there is always that uncomfortable moment of asking your parents to borrow money so you’re not that person to show up at a gathering empty-handed.
THREE: The “Seasonal” Working Life
Since we have no money, we are obviously required to come back to our part-time job(s) that we were at during the summertime. That way, we can obtain a little bit of pocket change to return to school with. A lot of these seasonal jobs – like the one I have – are in retail, and let’s face it, we all know how brutal retail can be at a time like this. While some individuals enjoy the idea of making money again, others loathe the thought of repetitive and crummy renditions of Christmas songs and last minute shoppers whose patience levels are at an all time low. Let me tell you, it is a headache that even the best Christmas cookie can’t cure.
FOUR: Back to the Ol’ Rules
Living on your own at college is a dream to many students, even if your parents have put a tracking device on your phone (and yes, some parents really do that to their kids). You come and go as you please, you stay out as late as you want, and you can pick the food you eat for every single meal. Although some parents are more lenient than others, I have heard numerous stories of the strict conditions in which students live at home. Therefore, when it comes time for the holidays, you are back under your parents’ roof and your parents’ rules. For many students, that means…coming home at a decent hour (or with the more strict parents, not going out at all), making your bed in the morning, cleaning your room, eating what is put on the table, whatever the case may be. For those whose parents let you live as you please at home, it may be harder going back to the school life with exams and due dates, while many others can’t wait to go back to school the second they arrive home.
FIVE: Flash From the Past
Lastly, depending on your high school experience, there are many students who dread coming home from college because the thought of running into familiar faces is frightening. Whether it is an ex-lover, the teacher that failed you, or the “snotty click” that is still “stuck in high school,” it only takes one to take the happy out of the holidays and put a damper to your new year. For others, the thought of trying to meet up with everyone before the break is over is overwhelming, as well. Whatever the case may be, there is something about returning to the past that makes us want to leave it behind and never face it again.
All in all, the holidays appear to have this great image attached to it — like smiles, Christmas carols, presents, joy, and laughter…but for some college students, it is the complete opposite. With that being said, for any of those who are forced to sing Christmas carols over break, feel free to sing with me:
“On the 12 days home from college, that my break granted me,
12 Snobby Shoppers,
11 Gifts I Can’t Give,
10 Unfriendly Faces,
9 O’Clock Curfew,
8 Rules to Remember,
7 Dollars an Hour,
6 More Pounds and Counting,
5 Advil’s PLEASE!
4 Fake Smiles,
3 Shattered Nerves,
2 Nagging Parents,
And the same over-asked question.”