How to survive the holidays with extended family: for college students

By Rita Buettner

Flickr Creative Commons

A few months ago you packed the car, drove to campus, got misty-eyed as your mom and dad said good-bye, and started your college career.

Once you get through finals, you’ll return to those the homemade meals, sleeping in, and free laundry service. You can’t wait.

Then you get there and the rules have all changed. Or they’re the same, but you’ve changed. And suddenly you realize it’s true—you can’t go home again.

How will you survive being back under your parents’ roof?

And how will your parents survive you?

La Keita Carter, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist, and Danielle LaSure-Bryant, Ed.D., a licensed clinical professional counselor, both from the Loyola Clinical Centers, offer some advice.

Be patient with your parents. “Parents are moving from managers where they have final say, to consultants, where they can only weigh in. It’s such a hard transition,” Carter says. “They might be financial managers, but emotionally and mentally, they’re more consultants. People should just honor that. Everybody’s transitioning here. Give them some slack, and give you some slack.”

Your relatives might treat you like a child. They might also treat you as if you should know everything. “They’re either thinking you’re a college kid, you should know everything by now, or you’re a college kid, you know nothing,” Carter says.

Coming up next: Part 5: Grieving a Loss

Also in this series:

Preparing for the Family Gathering

Navigating Conversation with Your Relatives

Are Family Gatherings Mandatory?

Grieving a Loss at the Holidays

Navigating family gift giving

Bookmark and Share

No Comments

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment