By Roy Schneider
So you’re finally finished with finals, packed up the overgrown piles in your room, found a sublease for your apartment, have a sweet ride or gas money figured out to get back home, made plans to meet with hometown friends and even have a good Pandora station or SoundCloud playlist lined up.
As ready as you think you may be for this summer’s greatest adventures, here’s one of the most important things you might have not actually prepared for: living with the ‘rents. Even if you’ve lived with your parents your whole life and they still live in the same house, you’re probably less prepared than you may have imagined. The SF Post has you covered.
You may have thought about this between Ethics and Biology homework but a lot has changed since you’ve lived at home and not just for you! Your parents have adjusted to a whole new home life with one less kid around and that means a whole new family dynamic at home, even down to details of who gets the dog playing piece over the top hat in family Monopoly night.
We want to make sure your plans don’t have any unpleasant surprises so here’s a list of three easy things you can do to be on top of the situation before it even really becomes one:
- Get ready to pull your weight
If you imagined returning home to include a glorious grand entrance with lots of praise, attention and hospitality, you probably have been fooled by the same delusions of grandeur that we have. Coming home means more people in the same house sharing a greater amount of chores. If you’re prepared to pull your own weight with the same tasks you handled while at school like laundry and cleaning your room, you’re already on to a solid start. Your parents will not only enjoy your company more but they will also recognize that you are on that right path to becoming fully independent. Trust me, you want this because this means more freedom and less nagging.
- Clarify the house rules
You may come from a family of calendars and charts that organize tasks or you may come from one that simply let’s you know what’s up as needed. Whichever way your family defines responsibilities and rules, use that method to go over the details of your summer ahead of time. Go over subjects like friends, curfew, car privileges, romantic relationships or any other subject that you know may interfere with your parents’ values or may simply have been a guideline from your high school days. As boring as this sounds, think of this as the syllabus review that happens on the first day of class. Going over the structure of the class is really just about avoiding surprises for either you or the professor. So why should the process be that much different than it is with your parents?
- Find some work
Trust us, summers of endless screen time are not as energizing and fulfilling as they make themselves seem. You’ll feel like you haven’t continued on with your life and that you’ve wasted the year’s sunniest months. Getting a job couldn’t be a simpler but most effective solution. Not only will a job get rid of too much chill time in your sweats but it will also get rid of the possible feeling of reversed life progress when visiting home. Even better, is that you can expand your network of friends if your parents relocated once you’ve moved or if you haven’t really kept in touch with high school friends. The simplest benefit is the fact that this means spending money. Were you really planning on starting the day by asking mom for $20 like you did in 8th grade? They weren’t. A job can take money out of daily conversations, a subject that could be more sensitive than you think since you’ve been away at school.
Looking for extra brownie points? Show them that you’re doing the adult thing and putting a third of your earnings in a savings account.
All in all, summers are about the beach, buds, boats and bliss. Take our advice and don’t make yours about fights, falling outs, frustration and family tension. Have a great summer Saints!