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Stomping the Yard

Summer Survival Tips: Back Home with the Parents

Our college blogger talks to former and current college students to find out why they decided to transfer to another campus.
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Calling all college students!  Our new weekly column, Stomping the Yard, aims to help undergrads excel in their studies and social lives.  JETmag.com’s team of experts will show you how to get it done from the day you move into the dorms to the minute you step off campus for that first job. Submit questions and feedback for The Yard via digitalpitches@ebony.com.

As a student at Northern Illinois University, every May it was the same thing. I couldn’t wait for school to be over, get back home to a real bed, eat a few home cooked meals, dine at some of Chicago’s hot spots, hang out with friends, and chill with family. Yet, every year, before we even made it to Father’s Day, I was already itching to get back to campus!

It wasn’t classes, exams, and tests that I missed. It was the FREEDOM! Being away at school meant I was practically living on my own, going where I wanted, when I wanted, with whomever I pleased. However, being back at home meant I was back under my parents’ roof, living under my parents’ rules. I had to reacquaint myself with words like “curfew,” “chores,” and “check-in.”  In hindsight, all they really wanted was basic courtesy, and well deserved respect. That’s why today’s post offers some practical advice for summer survival, helping both students and parents live peacefully until school starts again.

Go to Work

Nothing says “lazy and trifling” like sitting at home with your feet up while mom and dad head out to work for the day. Barring a few exceptions, most parents definitely “feel some kind of way” about having an able-bodied,  cable-watching, food-eating, laundry-piling, young person in their house all day, chillin’. Save the stress of being hounded about want ads and job openings by lining up summer employment. Parents feel a lot better about their children returning home when they have lined up opportunities to be financially independent or at least make some sort of financial contribution. While no one expects a college student to pick up the tab for the mortgage, offering to offset the costs of higher utility bills from being home during summer can go a long way in having a peaceful co-existence with parents.

Be Proactive

If the summer job market is tough to break into, use the additional time to be proactive with helping around the house. Having spoken to many moms, nothing fills a woman’s heart like walking into a clean house. Likewise, nothing brings the at-ti-tude like walking into a kitchen piled high with dirty dishes, the TV blaring, garbage filled to the brim, and socks all over the floor. Show mom and dad that you appreciate being able to live rent free by taking the iniative to mow the lawn, organize the garage, keep the dishes washed, and whatever chores might make their lives a little easier. Let’s face it, no summer job can equal the benefits of free rent, free food, free laundry, and ready access to transportation.

Battle the Bulge

To say that I was a little “chunky” in college would be putting it mildly. At just 5’4” and tipping the scales at 200 pounds, I was downright obese! My late-night lifestyle on campus consisted of little sleep, midnight snacks, and very little physical activity. If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken every opportunity I could during the summer to trim my waistline.  Take advantage of fitness programs at your local park district. Invite family to walk or run with you. Go to healthy eating blogs or search Pinterest to find and cook/grill healthy meals for  yourself and your loved ones. Starting a family fitness regimen can help drop those unwanted college pounds and introduce your family to healthier lifestyle choices.

About Dr. Shante Bishop 

Photo Credit: Jeremiah-Phinally Phocused

Photo Credit: Jeremiah Bishop-Phinally Phocused

Getting TO college is one thing; Getting THROUGH college is quite another. That’s why Dr. Shante’ Bishop offers strategic advice on being successful both in and out of the classroom. From catalogs to cap and gown, Professor Bishop shares what it takes to ‘Stomp the Yard” with confidence and clarity! You can follow Dr. Bishop on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.