A big part of leaving home is knowing when to come back.
When I left for university I was so excited to flourish on my own, make my own choices, and experience living by myself. In fact, I was so caught up in my new independence, that I didn’t even think about how much I would miss my life at home. Flying the nest is fun, but nothing really beats sitting at home with your family looking after of you.
However, you can’t be too reliant on going home either. If you’re back and forth every weekend, you won’t truly settle into your new environment. My experience managing the balance between visiting home and living on your own has been a challenge, but I think I have found the balance and made the most of where I am and what I’m doing.
When I first went to university I didn’t visit home at all. The first time I went home was during my reading week in November, leaving me on my own for 2 months for the first time. I don’t regret this time, your first 2 months at university are a key time for making friends, setting a routine, and figuring things out for yourself. However, you can’t be too headstrong. One thing I would change about my experience is not being afraid to ask for help. I know this might sound like basic advice, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget. When I first left home, I thought I needed to prove myself. What I didn’t realise was that asking for help wasn’t failing my family, or really anywhere close. I realised this during my first trip home, receiving the natural helping hand of my parents and finding a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Family is there to help you. Obviously don’t ignore all of your responsibilities, but when you need it, I’ve found that people are more than happy to be there for you.
Furthermore, just talking to your family and seeing your house is something that I’ve found is extremely underrated. Going home for the first time, just seeing my house was like a little hug. I’ve learned that you can’t force yourself to evolve to your surroundings; it’s not a crime to want to go home every now and then. Obviously spend some time settling in, but moving is much easier when you’re comfortable and happy. So I recommend that, every now and then, you make a small trip home and forget about the stress of living alone for a while. For me, even FaceTiming my family and having them walk me around the house and show me projects they’ve been working on really made a difference.
Settling into life alone is more difficult than you might think. But if you ask for help and visit home, you’ll find yourself settling in much easier than trying everything on your own. Life is all about struggling, making relationships, and finding your way together. I have had an amazing experience finding my way with all of the amazing people in my life.
Let me know in the comments about your experiences!