By Sam Combest and Joseph Garcia —

Going home is hard. You have spent the entire semester being independent and on your own schedule. It’s time to go home.

This will be your first time home longer than a week which can cause tension in the household.

One of the first shocks you may experience is the realization that life continued on while you were gone.

Here are tips to survive the transition to being back home:

1. Spend some time with your family.
Winter break is probably the first time you’ve been home longer than a few days, so spending time with your family will be a vital part of your survival back home. This is a great time to get caught up on what’s going on in everyone’s lives over a nice home cooked dinner.

2. Take full advantage of home cooked meals. 

You have spent the entire semester surviving off of greasy, fatty foods. It is time to fork down some veggies and work off that freshman 15.

3. Be sure you and your parents are on the same page.
One of the biggest struggles many people face after coming home is going from being independent to back under their parents’ roof and rules. Talk with them and be respectful of what they ask. You are an adult, and this is their house that they pay for.

Put yourself in their shoes. Do you like when your friends come into your dorm or apartment and leave a giant mess for you to clean up? No! So make time to tidy up after yourself before you leave in January.

4. Make plans to see old friends.
How often did you really see and talk to your friends when you were at college? Probably not enough, so make the time to see them. This is the time to make memories.

Have an ugly sweater party, do a gift exchange, have a game night, do anything and everything you can to spend time with your friends.

5. Catch up on lost sleep from checking blackboard.

You have probably spent many sleepless nights laying in bed wishing you hadn’t checked Blackboard. Now is your chance, with no all-nighters at the library and no last-minute extra credit assignments, to save your grade.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr/ The Louisville Cardinal