Freshman Blog: Not all college freedoms will come home for the holidays

by Megan Scheels

All college freshmen spend their first semester in a similar way – stressing out about school work, feeling overwhelmed with the lack of time and trying to find the time to socialize. While Rider is a great place to make friends, get involved and study, I can honestly say that every freshman is looking forward to two things at this point in the semester. The first being finals, and the second being able to go home for winter break.

Living on campus is exciting, and, for most of us freshman, the first time we’ve been on our own. No one is here to tell us when to go to sleep, when to do our homework that desperately needs to get done or when to eat. Personally, I’ve developed some good and bad habits.

I find that at this time in the semester, I neglect food and choose studying, and that I wish I had a personal assistant with the amount of things I have to attend and do in the next two weeks. And positives? I’ve become extremely organized, something I never was at home. My dorm room is spotless and all of my homework gets done on time. I do have a few worries about going home for break. As freshmen, we have all gained this amazing amount of freedom, so what happens when we go home for the holidays?

Home is a place of comfort but for some, a place of rules and stress with a slight lack of freedom. Will we go home as bratty 18- and 19-year-olds who now want to do whatever we want? Or will we return as well-rounded adolescents who now have an entire college semester under our belts?

Personally, I grew up in a semi-strict household, but I have extremely loving parents who give me the world. During Thanksgiving break, I did not find that I was itching for more freedom; instead I was thankful to be home and in the comfort of my own bed. The question that keeps crossing my mind is what will things be like after being home for more than just a week? I do believe that the lack of independence I find at home might just play into how well my break goes.

As adults, and yes, finally we can say that, we have a lot of responsibilities on our plates here at school. We must eat, study, sleep and work hard to maintain GPA’s and reputations. So at home, I hope that I can escape that stress without creating a new problem of fighting over my lack of freedom. I don’t know any college freshman that will be free to come and go as they please at home like they can while away at school.

The positives of being home: my mom’s home-cooked meals, my Dad’s awful Christmas caroling and my annoying but lovable little brother who bugs me until I can’t yell anymore. Home is chaos sometimes during the holidays, but a different kind of chaos than the one we as college students face at school. It’s a comforting chaos, which fills us with love and happiness and the company of others. So remember, when your mother tells you to be home by a certain time or your father comments on something you wear, just take their advice. Our families all care about us. Maybe what we see as a “lack of freedom” is actually their way of expressing how much they’ve missed us. Regardless of my curfew, I know I’m looking forward to going home. I hope your holiday break is just what you need this year. Happy Holidays everyone.

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