Life After College: It’s Good To Be Home

I remember crying as I packed for college a gazillion years ago and freaking out that I would never really be coming home again in the same way. But, the second I got home for Thanksgiving break, I realized exactly how wrong I was about that. My house was just as I left it (minus a few things my sister borrowed, stretched out, and left in the trunk of the car) and despite being insanely more educated, my family didn’t treat me any differently. I still fought with my sister over the remote (The Nanny reruns, really?), I still was expected to help with the dishes (ugh), and I still had to tell my mom in excruciating detail where I was going when I left the house.

However this past June when I left to go to New York I went through the exact same emotions, overly dramatic arm flailing and unattractive tears galore as I packed up. And once again, I proved myself wrong. I went home this past week to take a break from adult responsibilities, such as job hunting and obsessively updating my Linkedin and I discovered that still nothing changed.

It seems that no matter how old I get, I will always revert back to my 18-year-old self as soon as I step foot in the front door. And unfortunately for my siblings, I treat them as if they haven’t aged since my senior year in high school. It wasn’t until I was looking at pictures that I realized my prepubescent brother who I still refer to as Baby Brother was actually 17 and four feet taller than me. When did that happen and how do I somewhat gently ask him to shave his three lone facial hairs that he calls a beard?

The biggest difference between coming home in college and coming home as a post-grad is that now I crave that attention from my mom. Back in the old days I had high school friends to visit and places where I felt like I just had to show my face. I spent 90% of my break telling my mom that I’m in college now so it’s actually none of her business when I come home or if she wakes up to me sleeping under the dining room table with pine cones in my hair.

But now that my home friend count has dwindled down to fractional numbers, I surprisingly (perhaps sadly) enjoy spending time with her. She’s the only person that is genetically required to care about all the stories I tell. (Sidenote: while I appreciate her listening, there’s nothing more frustrating in the entire world than her mixing up names. It’s like, “try to follow me here on this story, Mom. Sam is NOT the same person as Sammy.”) And opposed to the college years (I divide my life the same way Saved by the Bell divided shows), I now look forward to being babied and coddled. I expect chocolate chip pancakes when I wake up and, yes, I would like whipped cream on top of that hot chocolate. Yes I want you to take me shopping and yes I expect you to cancel your dinner party with friends that you’ve had planned for months just so you can make my favorite dessert and serve it hot.

This past trip home has taught me the older I get, the poorer I get, the better going home gets. It’s all rather backwards.

We’ve All Been There: Blue Book Exams
We’ve All Been There: Blue Book Exams
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