Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Brock Life: Adjusting to Living at Home Sweet ... Not ... Home

So Thanksgiving is over and maybe that was the first time you've gotten to go home since being here at Brock! And before going home you were totally fine with that. But now that you're back at school, classes in full swing and that long weekend was not quite long enough  you're all "oh my gosh, when am I going to be home again? It's only October, Christmas is two months away, I miss my friends, I miss my family!!!". Okay, so maybe you're all still fine and happy to be back at school (woohoo!!) but hey, some of us had a hard time adjusting to living away and getting the chance to go home just reminds you of that. It's totally okay! Living away from home definitely has its ups and downs and there are ways to make that transition a lot easier. Here are some tips I wish I used in my first year:

1. Call or skype home at least once a week, and make your family tell you whats going on with THEM! They're missing 1 person from their household but you might be missing 2-6! Your parents will definitely want to hear about how everything is going for you on this end, but getting a chance to hear about their lives will make you feel a little more connected to home. Share a story, tell a joke, have a staring contest! Whatever makes you feel more in the loop.

2. Create a list of things that you didn't know how to do on your own before living by yourself. You might include stuff about laundry, cooking, cleaning, sending a letter, paying bills/managing finances, etc! Be as specific as you want. Each month take the time to refer back to that list to see what you might have learned so you can cross it off! Feel free to add something new to it as well - you may have realized something else you didn't know that month and learned it too! This will make you feel accomplished and remember why you might have made the decision to move away in the first place.

3. Find some friends to have a family dinner with once a week. Even if you're living in a dorm style residence room this is possible - just find some things that can be made with a microwave or toaster and set up your dinner in the lounge. This is a nice way to recognize the new community/family you have created for yourself at school!

*You might also take this a step further and call your parent/grandparent/guardian at home about one of their famous recipes and make it here at Brock! A nice way to add to tip #2 and also to share a piece of home and tradition with your new home and friends.

And finally...

4. Find a part-time job! You might be questioning this one ("is she just adding this in because this is the Career Services blog?"), but think about it, having a job keeps you busy and earns you money. A part of a difficult in transition for first year might be going from being in high school all day with a part-time job that was keeping you busy,  to university classes sporadically throughout your day with nothing else to do in between. Your classes aren't 8:30-3pm everyday anymore - you might be spending all day with nothing to do before a class, missing home and friends in that idleness.  Finding yourself a job or volunteer experience can help relieve that. Just visit careerzone.brocku.ca!

*This goes for joining a sports team or club at Brock as well!

I hope these tips will help you adjust to your new home away from home! Remember to embrace your newfound independence and enjoy this time!

4 years away and still missing my family,

Brittany

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