By now, most college kids have wrapped up finals and headed home. Their transition from independence back to family living is exciting and sometimes a little bumpy. When I posted this college kid advice in 2011, I didn't recognize its staying power, but some things never change. Below is my original list of common student and parent pet peeves to watch out for over the holidays. They're normal, but they're easier to handle if you see them coming. Take a deep breath and hang onto your patience and that holiday spirit. Here's hoping your holiday season of togetherness is filled with happiness and minimal friction.
Parent Pet Peeves
1. The Popular Phrase: "I'm in college so you can't tell me what to do." Enough said.
2. The Social Media Frenzy: This is propelled by the need to stay connected, as in "I miss my college friends and will Skype and text them constantly until I return to campus."
3. Their Superior Attitude: This has the "my life is cooler than yours" undertones as in "This town is so lame and boring, I don't know how you can live here." This is especially prevalent with students who attend college in New York City.
4. The Kitchen Destruction: A college student let loose in a fully stocked pantry is always the recipe for chaos.
5. Their Sleep Schedule: Family meal planning is sabotaged. How can you schedule lunch when their breakfast happens at 2:00 p.m.?
College Student Pet Peeves
1. The Questions: Parents delight in digging. They want to know about every class, professor, and friend you've encountered since September. They want to know if you're happy and they're not afraid to ask you. Over. And over. And over again.
2. The Hovering: Parents can't help it. They have to make sure you've had enough helpings of mashed potatoes even though you said you were full 15 minutes ago.
3. The Clean Up Requirements: Parents have spent the last three months wandering in and out of your tidy room. They've become used to it. Your return is a shock to their system.
4. The Expectations: Yup, parents can't shake the "You'll live by my rules" attitude. They expect you to get up at the crack of noon, not wake up an entire household because you want to play video games or make macaroni and cheese at 3 a.m. Their inflexibility can drive you crazy.
5. The Dress Code Comments: When you return with a beard or have traded cargo pants for skinny jeans, expect parental commentary. Any dramatic apparel or hair change can lead to lengthy critiques. Old habits die hard. Add a tattoo or piercing to the mix and you've got some explaining to do.
Leave a comment and let me know how you make your reunions work!