For myself, and I'm sure, for you too, the days of being an undergraduate living in halls or in shared accommodation (or alone if that was an option), accompanied a splendour of freedom and independence. For the first time you had no parents telling you when to wake up, when to go to sleep, dictating your meals and chasing you up when it's your day on the dishes. Gone are the days of playing by your own rules. Be prepared to swallow your pride, as moving back home, in a sense, feels like taking a few steps backwards into the years gone by. In case you aren't sure what to anticipate, here's a few experiences of my own to give you a heads up.
1. You have a curfew.
After three years of not having to explain to your parents what you are doing and where you are going in the evenings, it might come as a shock (good or bad) that your family are worried about your whereabouts post 7pm. While for some, this would be a welcome sign of affection, perhaps having missed the maternal/paternal adoration waiting at their doorstep, it can't be denied that for others it can feel a little suffocating. We've managed to keep ourselves alive for the past three years (maybe even more for some), why would we suddenly need safeguarding now?
2. You miss your friends.
Naturally, many young people that go off to university for a few years or more, develop a close circle of friends while they're there. The only problem with this is that, once you leave, suddenly all the friends you've made are dispersed around the country, often going back to where they came from, unless they decide to live in the city/town where the University is based. While this means that you can nurture the friendships that you have in your home town, probably neglected during your time at University, it hurts, just a little, to think that the ones that have watched you grow, that you've come to really care about. are sometimes many, many miles away.
3. You have to make an effort.
Going to University is like falling into an incubator, doing the work for you when it comes to creating a healthy, balanced lifestyle. You live with your course friends and close to any other students living in dorms, or in your town. From day one, Freshers week, the University pushes you into ready-made societies which, for campus universities especially, are often on your doorstep. Almost a cushy form of reality, you'll have to go to greater lengths (literally) and mingle twice as much to achieve that kind of social life. But have hope, it can be done.
4. You feel nurtured.
To end on a single positive, albeit, huge pro of moving back home from University, for the first time in a while you feel truly cared for. Initially, I actually found my parents asking me what I wanted for dinner, doing my laundry and coming home to a very clean house, a little discomforting. So set in the routine, was I, of doing my own shopping, cooking for myself and doing my own washing, that I felt a little disorientated when this was, to an extent, lifted from my shoulders. While I still do all the things above out of choice, it's important to feel like you have agency and that you're shifting your weight, I can rest assured knowing that my back is covered.