Cultural Adjustment

As much as I would like to deny it, my university experience is now over. My graduation ceremony is in roughly three weeks, and I haven’t even thought about what I am going to wear… I have more pressing issues to think about, such as the endless and desperate job hunt to (I hope) avoid being perpetually unemployed. I also have questions that I believe only I can truly discover the answers to: 1. What am I going to do now? 2a. What is adult life? 2b. How do I live like an adult? 3. Where did the last three years of my life go? Take me back – I blinked and I think I missed it.

June 11th 2016:
In the space of a day, my living situation changed. I packed up my room in halls of residence, my parents drove to pick me up, and after five hours on the road we arrived at the family home. Thus ended three years of independent living (except for the holidays, of course). Moving home for the time being is convenient because I have nowhere else to go, but it is also a shock to the system. For starters, I am officially emancipated from the grip of the education system. After eighteen years of referring to ‘this year’ as September-August, I can finally say goodbye to the academic year. However, not being a student anymore means that I have more free time than I know what to do with.

Re-integrating back into the family home, knowing that I’m not going back to university in a couple of weeks has been trying at times. It is a special form of cultural adjustment. I am not a lazy person, by any means, but there are certain perks of living alone that do not apply when you live with your parents. I no longer have the luxury of doing my laundry when I feel like doing it, I can’t take a thirty-minute shower if I want to, and all-day/night Netflix binges are strictly off-limits – my parents do not have unlimited internet. And of course, household chores are mandatory, with only a limited amount of time for completion before you are told that you’re ‘not helping out enough’.

Of course, there are positive benefits to my new location. It’s not all doom and gloom! For one, I don’t have to worry about not being able to afford rent, bills or food. I also don’t have to pay to wash my clothes anymore. My bank account balance will finally remain more or less static… There are three things in particular that I have thoroughly appreciated since returning home, though. Firstly, being able to sleep in a double bed again. So…much…space! So…comfy! Secondly, my Xbox 360. A particular indulgence that I could not allow myself for my final year at university. I tried it during my second year, and I spent a lot of time playing video games when I could have been studying. Finally, just being back in my home town has made me realise that there really is no place like home.

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