Written by Amy
BA (Hons) Politics
Moving to university was a giant learning curve for me. I taught myself how to cook, how to motivate myself, how to clean a bathroom, the list could go on. So, moving back home has almost been another learning curve and has been in a lot of ways challenging, mostly because this independence that I had living in Bournemouth is not the same at my family’s house.
At university I really enjoyed cooking and I’d cook for myself every night. Over three years I’d also become somewhat skilled at using all the food in my fridge throughout the week and spending £15 on a weekly food shop. Since being home, I’ve found myself getting wound up at the amount of waste we produce in my household, we over-buy food and don’t use it all up. Slowly but surely, I’ve been teaching my mum how to make a meal plan for the week and how to shop efficiently. I also get to cook for my mum and sister sometimes, which is way more enjoyable than cooking for myself!
On the other hand, my mum loves to keep the house clean, while I’m not 100% sure if I ever touched a vacuum while at university, so she’s delegated weekly tasks for each of us which has been really eye-opening. I never realised how often you had to clean a place to keep it tidy, especially with cats – there’s cat fur everywhere, even a day after vacuuming! In this respect, I’ve definitely learnt something from being home that, arguably, I should probably have learnt over the last three years!
One thing I’ve realised is that it’s really important to have time to yourself. I never really noticed this at university since it was easy to have time to myself – I had my own meal times, my own TV and I could see my friends whenever I wanted. Now, living at home is different in that I have spent a lot of time with my family, at first without really recognising how essential it is to be able to have time to yourself, be it a walk, watching TV or reading. In this light, I’ve found a few hobbies to keep me occupied at home when I’m not spending time with my family, mostly drawing and Facetiming my friends.
Having said this, I’ve found it really helpful trying to keep a balance between having my own time while also socialising and spending quality time with my family. In an effort to stop us from spending too much time alone, we have set two nights aside a week – one for playing board games together and one for doing an online pub quiz together. Doing this reminds me a lot of living in Bournemouth because my housemates and I used to have nights dedicated to spending time together so it’s really nice to be able to recreate this with my family. It also helps ease tensions in the house when we’re feeling moody.
Overall, it’s taken me a few weeks to acclimatise to living at home again and it’s definitely been a learning experience trying not to be too independent and having to consider the fact that I can no longer do exactly what I want. However, it’s been great getting to spend time with my family again and actually teach them a few things I learned at uni.