With Fall Free Days approaching, I don’t think I’m the only one that’s getting excited to go home. A lot of us haven’t been home since school started, and for some of the first-years, this is the longest that they have ever been away from home. And so, it’s only understandable that we are looking forward to seeing our families and the chance to get a home-cooked meal, sleep in our old beds, hang out with our pets again and be back where everything is familiar. Our parents ask what we want for our first meal back, tell us to bring our laundry home and say how excited they are to see us. It’s easy to forget while we’re at Loras that back at home, the world is still going on. As much as we are in a bubble at college, the outside world doesn’t cease to exist. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our lives here that we forget that our families are missing us too, and it can be easy to take advantage of the fact that they are always back at home, waiting for us. So maybe instead of just living out our college lives and just reaping the benefits when we go home, we can do a little on our end to show appreciation for our families as well.
One way that we can do this is by doing our best to stay in touch, even throughout our busiest times (aka midterms and finals). It can be an easy thing to throw down at the bottom of a to-do list, but it’s important not to forget how happy it makes our families to hear from us. A phone call, even just once a week, can go a long way. A ten minute talk can do a lot to help maintain a good relationship. Even though a lot of people come to college to get distance from home and their families to become more independent, that doesn’t mean we have to cut all ties. Our families took care of us for 18 years. The least we can do is call them once a week and find out how they’re doing.
Another small thing that we can do is to show our appreciation for those home-cooked meals and laundry machines waiting for us at home. Our families don’t do these things because they have to, but because they love us. Think about bringing back a little gift from the bookstore or something from the Dubuque farmer’s market or even just expressing a genuine “thank you” for what our families do for us. I know that most of us are strapped for cash, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive gift. Just letting them know how much we genuinely appreciate these things is a great gesture to make.
Also, once you actually get home, remember that you are back under your parent’s roof. It can be a hard readjustment to go back home after being at college and living by your own schedule and rules, but have a little respect for the way your parents like things to be when you get back. Although it may seem a little unnecessary or annoying to tell your parents what you’re doing and when you’ll be back because you are out of the habit of doing so, this is another small way to show gratitude for all they’ve done.
These are just a few little things, but they can each go a long way. Your family will always be your family, no matter what. Even though the relationships we form in college may not even last a semester, your family will be a constant in your life that you don’t want to let fall to the wayside. They tolerated our terrible two’s, puberty and moody stages for 18 years, and may even be helping us out with college. Showing gratitude for all that they do for us can be very simple but so impactful.
And so, enjoy Fall Free Days, eat way too much, and spend some quality time with the people and places you’ve missed. Just don’t forget to say “thank you” along the way.