Ahh…summertime. The time where many college students flock, well, home.
After living on your own for 3/4 of a year, it may be very difficult to transfer back to living under your parent's roof and by their rules. One weekend you go from late night Target runs to being home by 12 AM. It seems a little unfair? But is it really?
I am not going to lie to you, coming back home for summer break is a LOT to take in, but I am confident in you. Today I am going to share my biggest tips for surviving summer break as a college student so that you can spend more time this summer enjoying yourself, and less time being upset about the freedom that you used to have.
1. Find An Apartment Or Sublease For The Summer
If you are not ready to go home for the summer and give up your freedom, you don't have to go. Ultimately, you just can't stay in most dorms over the summer unless you get a summer lease for a summer class or something similar.
Don't feel the need to leave your college town if you don't want to and you have a job or are otherwise able to pay the bills. PLENTY of people get 12 month leases but don't stay in their apartments over the summer. A lot of people choose to move back home or they do a study abroad trip for the summer.
Ask around your friend group to see if anyone is subleasing their apartment for the summer, or even better, move into an apartment.
Many apartments have a TON of openings right now that they are trying to fill before the school semester starts. They may even have some good promotions happening right now because they are trying to fill so many open spots.
When it comes to apartments: read reviews, get the lowdown on all the apartment have to offer, and make a smart decision. Don't rush into a lease just because you don't want to go home for the summer just yet. Make a rational decision if you were planning on looking for housing at the moment. I would only use this option if you also plan to stay in that apartment during the school year.
But, back to subleasing. Subleasing is a great way to help someone out and live in an apartment over the summer without taking on a super short-term lease. With subleasing you are usually working with the original lease owner and the apartment manager to pay the rent. It's great because you are paying their original rent and not paying huge fees for a short-term lease. When you are only staying at a place for three months, the rent can be kind of expensive because of the turnover the apartment will have to endure getting the room ready so many times.
If subleasing or getting an apartment is not an option for you, let's chat about what you should do to survive summer break at home as a college student.
2. Come To Terms With The Change
Okay, it's going to be a wild and bumpy ride, y'all. College affords a TON of freedom that being home under your parent's roof just doesn't afford. I mean, during my freshman year alone I:
- Got a tattoo late at night on a random school night
- Went to a handful of parties
- Went to many a midnight/late night movie
- Ate way too much takeout and restaurant food (including many late nights at Waffle House & iHop)
- Went on many late night/spontaneous trips to Walmart (many times when I should have been studying for exams)
Many of those things (and more) I would not have been able to do under my parent's roof. Being home was an adjustment that I had to come to terms with.
At the end of the day, you have probably lived with your parents for 18 or so years, so a few months between leases will not kill you. It's going to be an adjustment, but dear, I am confident you can conquer it.
Personally, I treated the summer as calm place. During the school year I was usually moving around from one thing to the next. Class, work, sorority events, etc. every. single. day. That can get quite tiring. So, yes, I had to adjust to a slower pace at home but ultimately those slow moments made for balance in my otherwise way to crazy school life.
3. Chat With Your Parents About The Rules
Your parents know that you are used to certain freedoms in college that you don't get when you are at home. I am not saying that they will go nuts and give you all the freedoms after you return home from college, but I am telling you to have a serious chat with your parents about the rules.
If you never talk with your parents about adjusting your rules, there is no way that you will know how much they are willing to adjust the rules. Sit down with them and talk through the transition back home. Let them know that you want to re-evaluate the rules you had when you were in high school to accommodate for the growth that you have made since you were in college.
Above all else, once those rules are set, freaking follow them! Your parents are probably very excited to have you home, but it's an adjustment that never gets easy in my opinion. This is likely your parents first big break with you as winter break is usually about a month but summer break is a whole quarter of a year! Give your parents a break as they are getting back to having you in their lives (for at least a few months.)
4. Get A Hobby
Time is definitely going to pass a bit slower, so you want to take up something to fill your time. You could:
- Get A Job: A job is not really a hobby, but it's money that will help you out a TON so you have spending money for the summer (and if you budget correctly) during the school year too.
- Start A Blog: Blogging isn't for everyone, but it could be fun to take the time you have now and use that time to start a blog and connect with people across the country.
- Craft: One of my favorite things to do during the summer after my freshman year was craft. I moved into an apartment my Sophomore year so I was able to get my college dorm deposit back. I used that money to load up on craft supplies at Walmart and made ~cute~ paintings (and I say cute like that because they were ugly AF but it was a fun experience.) I'll stick to designing cute things on Photoshop though.
Whatever your hobby for the summer is, find it so during those times when you can't leave the house or your friends/family are busy, you can spend your time doing said hobby (and maybe even making a bit of money from it!)
5. Know That Being An Adult Is More Than Late Night Ice Cream Trips
It's so easy to be upset at the fact that you can't do what you could do while at college. I think it comes down to understanding that being an adult is more than just getting what you want. It would be nice if you could spend time with who you want, stay out as late as you want, and grab ice cream at 3 AM but that may not be your life during the summer.
You are an adult now but you also need to respect your parent's wishes and live by their rules while you are staying under their roof (probably rent-free.) They are saving you a ton of money by letting you live there and eat their food, so be respectful and learn to love it even if it's not the same freedom you had in college.
Understand that being an adult doesn't consist of getting what you want 24/7. Many people go through their adult life never getting what they want 100% of the time. You can suck it up for a summer (or four) for the sake of free food and lots of love from your parents.
I hope that this post was helpful for you as you begin to embark on your journey back home after the spring semester. You are going to have a ball living at home, it may just feel a bit stifling at the moment. Take a deep breath and get excited to spend time with your family and friends back home this summer.
Here are some extra resources from places across the web that also cover this topic. Do some research so you understand how to survive this time back home.
10 Tips For Getting Along With Your Parents Over Summer Break from Cabrini University
7 Skills to Learn Living With Parents During College Summer Break from Education Quest Foundation
Home (Bitter) Sweet Home: A College Student Perspective from Grown & Flown