#ColgateProblems: Survival on the Homefront

Welcome back, Colgate! I hope everyone had a gluttonous and rejuvenating Thanksgiving break. To all of you still pounding leftovers, I am both impressed and slightly terrified. I recently watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” and have since come to an interesting conclusion: it seems the world turns into one inconsolable

menopausal creep during the holiday season.

Combine all of that sentimentality with the stress of gift buying and you’ve got one emotional season on your hands. What better way to leave off the column than with the answer to one of winter’s most aggravating issues? No, it isn’t what you should buy your dad for Christmas or how to keep your new year’s resolution.

Drum roll, please: how can a kid retain his or her sanity during an entire month at home with the ‘rents? To be honest, I’m not sure any human being, not even our parents, could accurately advise you on this one. But with two winter breaks under my belt, I suppose I can give it a shot.

The first trick to cohabitating with your family for a month is to do something none of us probably have the desire to do – we must time travel back into the minds of our high school selves. If you’re thinking, “My, I was a rebellious teenager in high school, so this is terrible advice,” you are correct and should sit this tip out. For the rest of us who weren’t swinging from trees at eighteen, here’s the deal. Back in high school, we were much more likely to swallow our pride when our parents cracked down on us.

After all, we lived under their roof and so had to play by their rules. But nowadays, with many of us bordering 21 and too-cool-for-ground-rules, submitting to our parents can be downright impossible. But we must. I’m not saying we have to let go of all the independence college has taught us.

I’m only suggesting that it’s sometimes best to let

parents have their moment and treat us like, well, babies. If this means skipping out on a Saturday night rager to watch SNL, it may be worth it.

My next piece of advice is to get out of your house! Remember how excellent being home feels those first few days after finals? That’s the old, “distance makes the heart grow fonder” at work.

I admit, it is impossible to recreate that excitement after you initially reunite with the family, but a little healthy distance always brings people together. So get out and do something! Volunteer at a soup kitchen, score a mini internship or just harass your neighbors. But whatever you do, don’t mope around the house. If you’re taking up the same place on the couch for an entire month, you and your family will bonk heads. Such is human nature.

My last piece of advice is to be a team player. The majority of us have a driver’s license and five fingers. Ergo, I will assume we can all handle making the weekly grocery run and doing the dishes.

Our families are pretty great. I mean, for the first decade or so of our lives, they did most household chores for us. But at twenty, skimping out on that stuff is just inexcusable.

No matter how great the urge to bum around may be, remember that you get what you give in. If you help your parents out, daily interactions will be much more pleasant. And come that school-sick period in early January when we’ve all just about had enough of break, that mature relationship will make all

the difference.

Well, that’s all the advice I’ve got on that. And now, I’m afraid I must be Sara Brightman to your Andrea Boccelli; it is “time to say goodbye.” In the spring, I’ll be an ocean away, running around the grand city of London! And although I’m dragging the Colgate bubble with me, I won’t be around until next fall to solve your most pressing problems. Please, don’t cry too much. But all joking aside, I really am going to miss it.

On that cheesy note, have a relaxing break and a

killer second semester!

Contact Shannon Gupta at [email protected]