Christmas was an absolute blast and you’ve guiltlessly worked your way through a Tesco’s aisle worth of Quality Street. You’ve reconnected with all those home pals and realised that although your accents may have changed your sacred jokes will always be the same. But you’ve been sat in your childhood spot on the sofa watching so many reruns of Elf that you’ve lost touch with reality; those abandoned assignments and your neglected university friends are calling out for your return. It’s time for you to go back to that land of banter and money magically appearing in your bank account and there are a few things that are inevitable to happen.
1. Uni starts emailing you about things you don’t care about
Why are they telling you that the bins are getting changed today when you’re not even there?
2. Your parents start getting tetchy
At first your presence in the house was adorable and you were waited on hand and foot. Now you’re just the overgrown toddler that’s feeding off them like a parasite.
3. You compare your home and university nights out
Your local will always be your local, but the frequent references you keep making to how much better the deals at your SU are and how you’ve really discovered ‘your vibe’ thanks to town’s resident DJs go down like a lead balloon with your mates. Your usual hotspots just seem full of sixteen year olds and you start to realise that you miss the university crowd.
4. Family meals and nights in have never been so good
Back in your ‘other life’, every night is a sesh and nobody can tell you what to do. You might have been stubborn re-entering your old, quiet life at first but now that you’ve got used to a regular schedule of nostalgic, hearty meals and nights in front of the biggest TV imaginable, you’ve forgotten what it feels like to be constantly fearful of your bank balance.
5. You almost can’t remember what course you even do
You’d forgotten that you had work to do until a course mate messaged you asking if you hadn’t done any either. Contact hours have turned into the tally of how much daily Netflix you’ve indulged in.
6. Home friends start to get boring
At first, it felt like you could sit there with them for a whole week and you still wouldn’t have caught up on all the new, exciting things that have happened in your absence. It slowly dawns on you that there’s only so much you can stand hearing about how fantastic their course is and be asked “so how is university going?” by their parents. You love them, but you have a nagging feeling that you’ve overdone it on the reunion drinks and meals.
7. By some miracle, you become self-aware again
Usually it’s around the time that the Christmas decorations come down, but eventually that phase of not knowing what day of the week it is wears out due to some intervention, like watching the news, actually reading the timetables that uni keeps spamming you with or being forced to get your act together by your parents.
8. You finally brave checking your bank account
You’ve gotten out of the habit of pseudo-financial independence and for all you know you might have become a millionaire over Christmas. Of course, you haven’t and the result is as dismal as normal.
9. You start having nightly baths
All those radox bottles you got for Christmas have to go somewhere. As the holidays draw to a close it hits you that aren’t going to see that bath for a very long time and suddenly it’s the best thing ever, even though you’re basically soaking in your own dead skin (you can thank me for that thought later).
10. Your clothes don't quite fit the same
Part of you hopes it’s just shrunk in the wash and part of you knows that it’s all of the home cooked goodness you’ve been gorging on. Whatever the case, give it a few weeks of catered food or cooking for yourself and you’ll doubtless slim back down.
11. Kitchen utensil envy kicks in
Why couldn’t that top of the range kettle and bottomless fridge freezer you’ve been raiding for the past few weeks just come back with you? You don’t want to leave this alternate reality where milk and glasses never mysteriously vanish.
12. The suitcase that Has hardly been unpacked finally gets reorganised
Getting that thing on the train back to university is going to be a marathon. You have a slight fear of being charged an extra ticket for it since it’s twice your own body weight.
13. You get tagged in a cheesy end-of-christmas-break post
Whether it be on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter… you know it’s coming and you can name exactly which of your home mates will be the guilty participants. It’s their 21st-century way of saying “I’m officially done with you guys till term two is over”.
14. Your parents go from being tetchy to just plain weird
With some, it’s the sentimental chats about how lovely the family Christmas has been that they keep having every time they’re in the same room as you. With others, it’s the number of times they’ve asked “so what part of being back at university are you looking forward to the most?” betraying how excited they are to be getting their independence back. Whichever it is, they’re mentally preparing for you moving back out and they won’t stop bringing it up.
15. Someone invites you to a uni event scheduled for the first week back
Until that point you’d been having a bit of an existential crisis about how much your heart was really in making the move back, but now it’s settled. You have never felt this excited for a night out in a club with the world’s stickiest floor in your life. You can’t wait to get back, see your uni friends and recover your independence. And then you remember...
16. January exams – your doom is coming.
And it was all going so well, wasn’t it? Still, at least you can relate to our article on why January exams are the worst thing ever invented, by anyone.