SparkNotes Blog

How to Survive Living at Home During College Break

There’s the dream of what college break will be like—you’ll sleep in until 2 PM, binge-watch Riverdale, and subsist entirely on Lucky Charms and frozen tater tots—and there’s the reality, which is decidedly less awesome. Now that you’re used to making your own schedule and being independent, your parents might suddenly seem like the Dursleys—sure, they’re not forcing you to sleep in a sadsies cupboard under the stairs, but they’ve fallen right back into treating you like a teenager, which means you’re suddenly stuck with rules and curfews that you haven’t had for 9 months.

But before you attempt to use your sheets as an invisibility cloak and sneak out the house at 2AM, try out these tips for surviving college break at home. And if these fail, then by all means, try the sheet thing. GODSPEED.

Pull a Wuthering Heights and hide out in your room.

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The most surefire way to avoid your parents is to stay in your room 24/7. You’ll never really get to hang out with your friends, and you’ll likely die of boredom and/or starvation inside a week, but on the upside…wait, maybe this isn’t actually a good plan. PUMP THE BRAKES ON THE BRONTE, GUYS.

Learn how to cook and cook every chance you get.

Do you have problems cracking eggs?

What about turning water into rum?

Can’t handle spicy foods?

These are problems you’ll encounter if you have the baking skills of a Sims 4 character. But if you can pick up some culinary know-how and make a few fancy meals for the fam, your parents will quickly promote you to “favorite child” status (which might come with the benefit of a few hours added on to your curfew). Alternatively, they’ll realize that you are literally the world’s worst chef and shouldn’t be allowed within 30 feet of the kitchen, thus enabling you to eat frozen tater tots unbothered for the rest of the summer.

Hang out with friends and have “ADVENTURES.”

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Go to the park and save your mean cousin from dementors. Take a mini road trip and experience the great outdoors. Enjoy the parts of your town you miss (Dairy Queen drive-thru, anyone?), and explore what you’re lucky to have experienced as a kid. If worst comes to worst, shut yourself in your air-conditioned basement with your bestie and re-watch all the Lord of the Rings movies. If your parents try to come down and bother you, pull a Gandalf (this may or may not go absolutely terribly).

Get a job.

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Sure, it can be kinda miserable waking up at 7 AM and working 20-40 hours a week at a water park /grocery store/accounting internship/some terrible, inexplicable combination of those things—but when it comes down to it, you’re still being paid to avoid your house! If there aren’t any employment opportunities near you, then dream up a business plan of your own, and find a coffee shop or library to launch it from. Your entrepreneurial spirit will look great on college apps, your parents will be impressed, and you’ll be flush with cash (and/or still broke, because let’s be honest, your idea is very, very bad).

Don’t forget to splurge.

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Sometimes, you just gotta get a fro-yo the size of your face, or 1-12 new books, or that eyeshadow palette you’ve been obsessing over. If being at home has really got you down, remember that you’ve only got one more month until school starts again—and then you can start wishing that school were over so that you could go chill at home. IT’S THE CIRCLE OF LIFE.