Summer vacation is by far the longest break of the year, as it should be, of course, but contrary to popular belief, some aspects of the lengthened time span are not always positive ones. What I’m talking about are parents—those old, often heterosexually paired people who inhabit your house, encroach on your personal space, lay down the rules, and maddeningly prevent any privacy.
While winter and spring breaks are short enough to prevent Child Verses Parent outbreaks, summer does not have that time privilege. Since returning to the dwelling location of my parental units, “Leave my alone” has become a main staple in my verbal diet, muttered under my breath as doors closed, or shouted aggressively into their faces, it’s a phrase that can be uttered in many different circumstances.
I’m sure that almost every teenager who’s had to deal with parents has likewise had to deal with the consistent nagging that comes along with their presence. Sometimes it’s enough to drive me up a wall. But recently it’s been driving me up a wall and back again, getting under my skin far more than it has before. I believe I can account this to two main reasons: The first being that I’ve tasted independence in my first year at college, and have now had it rudely stripped away; the second being that fact that I’m on crutches, which has lead my parents to hover around me much more than they would have regularly.
Starting with the first reason: a return from college stripping me of privileges. This reason is much more universal, and I’m sure you’ve experienced it. The initial shock when you find out you are once again bound to a curfew, or the dread which sets in when your discover you can no longer write your schedule yourself. It varies from household to household, but it’s always present in some degree.
It’s immensely difficult for me, at times, to remember that my parents are only trying to look out for me, and do what’s best. Being forced to return home by 1:30 am seems like the end of the world when the rest of my friends can be out until 4, or 5, or later, but I don’t really think my parents would devise a special plan with the specific purpose of ruining my social life (would they?). Getting used to being under house rules is a drag, I know, but I just have to recognize that some battles can’t be won, and soon I’ll be back at college, and then off to live on my own, anyway.
The second reason, my crutches, is where things get tricky. As my family members try only to help me through difficult tasks, I can’t help but be driven crazy by their constant baby-ing. I know that they’re only trying to help, but it gets really tiring having them leaning over my shoulders constantly, even if it’s only to ask if I want their help. And I know it’s harsh of me to blow-up on them angrily, but can’t they see that I’m going absolutely crazy being unable to do things for myself, and that if I’m angry, they should just leave me alone? Yes, I should be more patient, but they, too, need to recognize when to back off and let me try to function on my own.
Being at home is all about giving and taking, relearning how to function in a complex environment that isn’t always centered on your own desires. It is overly frustrating at times, but a necessary skill to have, because it can be a lesson expanded to many different endeavors in your future. And if things ever look a bit too hectic to handle, just head to one of the great spas with student discounts offered by Campus Clipper, and pick up on the family sessions after a massage.
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