Coming home from university during the holidays is a bit weird, let’s be honest. Unpacking is too much effort, but at the same time living out of a suitcase is not a way to live. You feel like you are a stranger having been away for so long, yet your parents still expect you to take the bins out. As I said, it’s weird, but here are some of the best and worst things about coming home…
It has now become part of my daily life to hear my mum tell me to stop leaving cups and mugs around the house. As a means of saving her from a lifetime of disgust, now is probably not the right time to tell her that my room at uni has enough glasses for it to reach the quota of an opticians. My house isn’t even that dirty, or so I have led myself to believe, but coming home makes my uni house seem like something that would make Kim Woodburn have an existential crisis. No longer do I have to make sure that my showers are under 10 minutes long in order to stop the cubicle flooding because of a blocked drain, I can walk around BARE FOOT without having to worry that I’ll tread in someone’s dinner and there are no stains on the hob that I feel the need to question. The cleanliness, the freedom, the dream.
“Being reunited with your pets at home is like a reunion from Long Lost Family”
Since the closest thing at uni you get to being around animals is your occasional meeting with Bertie when you manage to pull yourself to Hallward or, most likely, your mates tagging you in a minimum of four doggo related memes a day, then being reunited with your pets at home is like a reunion from Long Lost Family. Being at home surrounded by pets is like being around some of your own – they don’t judge you, they follow you around and they are never ones to shun your attention away. After a term in which deadlines and exams have torn your self-worth down to the ground, the endless love that animals show is enough to keep anyone going – except when they forget about you again when you leave, but that’s a whole other matter.
Being at home makes me realise how underequipped I would be if a nuclear war were to occur whilst at uni. As my cupboards are usually filled (not full at all) by a few tins of chopped tomatoes, some stir fry sauce, pasta and noodles, if the world were to go into meltdown I would be a gonner in about two days. However, if the same were to happen during the holidays, well that would be another story. Based on the amount of non-perishable goods my mum has accumulated in the larder, it’s likely that I may manage to be one of the last survivors whose jobs it is to rebuild the world post-apocalypse. Due to this increase in food, it’s only natural for my immediate instincts to be to treat the holidays as if they were some extended eating competition. Never is there a moment where I am either not eating food, or thinking about what I’m going to eat next. If I were an animal, the holidays would signify a time before hibernation in which I’m preparing for the hard months ahead in which my loan will limit me to a beige-ridden diet. I mean, it would be rude not to overindulge, would it not?
“if anyone has heard of such a thing as ‘self-control’ (???) please hit me up and help me make sense of this alien concept.”
However, with this increased exposure to ‘conventional’ food choices, there is also an increased amount of judgement within the household. No longer is it acceptable to pop down to Sainos at 10pm when I’m in the mood for a packet of Hobnobs, nor is it acceptable to wolf down a ‘share’ bag of Doritos in two minutes flat. Apparently, at home anyway, there is such a thing called ‘self-control’. Now when I’m caught grazing with a chocolate finger in one hand and a granola bar in the other, I’m met with condemnation: “Lucy are you really eating again? You’re going to be full by tea time! A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!” I mean, I’m just trying to live my life here Susan, please let me be. Shocked and appalled no less, if anyone has heard of such a thing as ‘self-control’ (???) please hit me up and help me make sense of this alien concept.
Housemates vs Siblings
At uni, it’s perfectly reasonable to walk into your housemate’s room unannounced for a ‘quick chat’ only to leave two hours later with a head full of gossip, a cup of tea and a dress you didn’t even remember lending them. When the hours pass by in the blink of an eye whilst annoying others in the name of procrastination, the lack of work you do doesn’t even make you feel bad. However, were you to walk into your sibling’s room unannounced it’s highly likely that you will suffer some kind of reprimand, whether it be an insult, scream, or pillow to the face. As the proverb goes, ‘you can’t choose your family’, meaning that approximately one week after coming home you’ll realise how annoying they actually are. No longer can you aimlessly annoy other people in your house simply to procrastinate, but you’re forced to the confines of your room and made to confront the work that you aren’t, but should, be doing.
“Toilet paper, food, laundry, somehow these people make such delights miraculously appear”
Ah, behold, the old folk. When they dropped you off at uni for the very first time it was like a delayed cutting of the umbilical cord. Despite all your beliefs that you love the freedom that uni gives you, looking after yourself is just not as good as being looked after by people who are biologically obliged to care for your wellbeing. Yeah, they may judge your messiness and eating habits, but at the end of the day it’s all lurvvv really. Toilet paper, food, laundry, somehow these people make such delights miraculously appear. It almost makes the emergency Sains trip redundant. If only you could take them to uni with you, but then again there’s always speed dial when you need to ask your mum how to cook rice.