Charlotte — Your living situation has a great impact on your mental health, and for some college students it can be a very difficult and challenging situation. After the college semester is over, many students are forced to go back to living in uncomfortable places and it has a great effect.
Going to school is more than just getting an education. For many students, and for me, going to school was an escape and gave me freedom to do as I pleased and grow as a young adult. Being at college can help you forget and let go of all of the negative family, friends and memories that are associated with being in your home. But when school’s out for the summer and you have to go back home, now what?
Midwest native Keon, a sophomore from Clark Atlanta University agreed that it’s challenging when he heads back home.
“When I’m in Chicago I have to focus on everyone else and put them before myself and it’s very hard,” he said. “I feel like I’m able to thrive so well in college. It doesn’t even feel like Chicago is my home anymore, but more so Atlanta.”
From being able to stay up until 5 a.m. and eat pizza for breakfast if you please, coming back home to live with your parents can be a big adjustment. For some, it can be a very stressful and unhealthy mental health situation, but they have no other options. Here are a couple different ways that you can help deal with the transition for the summer.
Their House Their Rules
This was the biggest hump that I had to quickly understand while staying with my grandma over the summer. Just because I was used to living on my own, I was now living with an adult who was paying the bills and I had to abide by her rules. There were definitely some that I challenged, such as a curfew and different chores, but at the end of the day respecting someone’s rules and space will help in the long run.
Just because you are home for the summer doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Hang out with friends that are supportive and non-toxic and enjoy their company. Friends you can vent to about home and go out for a bite to eat or to the pool or park can greatly help.
It’s important to have a clear line of communication with whoever you will be living with for the summer. For example, letting them know who you are hanging out with and around what time you would be coming back is simple common courtesy that can help build trust in your relationship with your parents, grandparents, etc.
Getting a job just for the summer will put extra money in your pocket and will get you out of the house if it is not the best environment for you. Having a set routine will keep your mind busy and give you a feeling of hard work. Also, if your parents are making you help a little with bills you can now cover some.
Getting Some Air
A tip from Kaya, a freshman from the University of North Carolina Charlotte: “Whenever I feel stressed or drained from my environment I go outside and get some air. Whether it be a long walk or just some time in nature it helps me reset my energy and recharge.”
Most importantly, remember to be grateful that you can come home and have a place to stay for the summer. I know not everyone has the best situations in life and it’s okay to be sad sometimes. Just try to take things one day at a time and remember you’ll be back at school in no time.