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Students’ seasonal return to the nest: 10 reasons we’d just rather not

For many of us, starting university was the first time we began to live on our own. Likely it wasn’t entirely independently; we are ‘poor students’ after all (and we milk it for all it’s worth), but we did have to learn how to manage our new living situations, from filling our own fridges and remembering to wash our towels and bedsheets (hopefully, otherwise please consider this a formal reminder from one friend to another).

But hand-in-hand with more responsibility came more freedom, and that was definitely something worth celebrating.

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But as this first year comes to an end, we realise that while summer means no 9am seminars or three-hour exams, it also places us right back in our childhood bedrooms, under our parents’ roofs.

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Don’t get me wrong, university hasn’t just turned us into horribly ungrateful children who no longer love their parents, and there are of course plenty of things we look forward to about being home. But unfortunately dear parents, I don’t have time to list all those lovely reasons, so here are ten reasons we aren’t jumping up and down about our seasonal homecoming.

1. “Hey how about you make dinner tonight since you’re so used to it now?”

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Um yeah okay, so would you prefer my speciality of pasta or spaghetti? How does one even cook for more than one person? I can’t see how we’ll all be able to eat out of the pan?

2. Having to keep someone updated on when you leave the house or plan on being home.

Living at university, if someone asks if you’re going ‘out’, it’s not to see whether they should consider you for dinner, but whether or not they can come and down a few mixed drinks at your flat before sharing a taxi to Fubar.

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3. Door barging, need I say more?

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My first few weeks at university I kept having this nagging feeling that at any point my parents would waltz into my room asking how I could possibly be doing work curled up on the corner of my bed. That somehow if I wasn’t doing what I knew I should be, they’d be there to call me out. Let’s just say that feeling disappeared pretty quickly and at this point, if someone actually opened my door I’d probably have some sort of miniature heart attack (leaked footage attached above).

4. Sleep schedules that conflict with any normally functioning person.

Spur of the moment showers at 1am, casual furniture relocation at 2am. (yes I’m talking about you fellow upstairs flatmates), and stumbling home in the early hours of the morning, may be considered disturbing to some people, but nope, not us because there is a 95% chance we’re still awake.

Yes, for some unknown reason, going to sleep at a decent hour has become a cliche and nothing earlier than midnight will do. Parents seem to ‘forget’ this small lifestyle difference and will continue to wake us up at 8am so we don’t “waste anymore daylight”. Super.

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5. Alcohol. Alcohol Everywhere.

A half-empty bottle of wine or newly purchased bottle of vodka seem to be permanent staples on our kitchen table and whipping out tequila right after dinner is nothing highly unusual. Considering the “Rethink your Drink” pamphlets a friend of mine received in the post from her mother, it’s probably best we keep the realities of our alcohol consumption under wraps. While a creative show of concern, postal alcoholic interventions probably aren’t something that should be occurring too frequently.

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6. Leaving dishes for “later” isn’t a thing.

Simply put, if you honestly can’t remember what food even used to be on that plate, it’s not going to pass over well at home.

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7. Any questions that require more than ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.

The never ending charade of life-related questions all lacking any form of variety. “Do you like what you’re studying?” “You must have summer reading don’t you?” “Anybody special back at school?” No. no. no. One day at a time Aunt Linda, one day at a time.

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8. Late night snacking and/or drunken cravings.

While our flatmates have grown to be rather accepting of these mysterious food habits, I have a growing suspicion that they won’t be as universally accepted at home. Thinking that my parents would be just a tiny bit concerned if a tray of half eaten chicken nuggets were found on the floor in front of the oven, or slices of toast splayed out all over the kitchen counter.

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9. What dating life?

Just accept that at this point your dating life is placed on a momentary hold. The main man in your life is now your dad, and to be honest that’s probably for the best. Not sure how cool it would be to bring someone home to discover that you still keep the giant plush unicorn from when you were six, planted in the middle of your bed.

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10. That’s my spot.

But almost worst of all, you soon realize that your family have gone and created a different routine without you. You come down for dinner and to your horror, find your brother sitting in your seat… the audacity. Does no one remember that I sat there every single day of my life since we purchased this piece of furniture? Does the fact that I was born first mean nothing anymore?

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But hey, even through the worst of it, at least you won’t sleepily walk in to your kitchen to find some random guy, sweaty and asleep on your couch. Well, not until we once again leave our nests in September that is.

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