When University Students Return Home

We are at an interesting time in our lives. In our house, we are blessed to be able to stay home and have four of our young adult children home with us for the time being. They came home gradually from four different Canadian Universities, where they had not only school, but jobs, athletic pursuits and social lives. Their 4 schools announced closures like dominoes on March 13th. Their part-time jobs lasted a few more days, and then shut down one by one.

They have all stayed at home since their arrival, although now that the travellers are beyond their 14 days of quarantine, they have walked the dog, gone for runs and bike rides – all still physically distancing. It has been remarkably calm here. I’m not sure why…….

They have kept themselves mentally busy so far with finishing their studies online, socializing in group chats with their friends online, and gaming with each other or with their online friends.

It’s been a few years since we had our four students home at the same time for more than a few days at a time. Our daughter has not been at home at all during the summer for 3 years. Last year we all visited her for a summer vacation. One of our sons usually arrives for Christmas and leaves Boxing Day for an athletic event.

University/College students are a different species altogether…….

They live by completely different time-clocks. After we go to bed, there may be hours of on-line gaming, group video-chatting, watching of reality TV, or possibly even studying? Then there is the sleeping in ’til all hours. How can we complain that they are sleeping in if they are getting their schoolwork done, staying home safely and have no jobs to go to? Making breakfast at 3pm just isn’t right.

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They Think My Laundry Room is a Laundromat. My kids left home, not having had responsibility for their own laundry. They have returned from houses full of young people where the washer/dryer is shared. Apparently it’s a big deal to leave the wash in the machine. I have never shared my machine, and so work at my own pace. My laundry room seems suddenly like a public laundromat, where I have to keep an eye on my laundry or a major incident will evolve.

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There are Always Dishes in the Sink. My children have all told me horror stories over the years about their roommates leaving unwashed dishes in the sink. They all apparently are the ideal roommate and always do their own dishes. This is very confusing for me, as I am now doing 3 dishwasher loads daily and the sink is always full.

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We never get the right groceries. Our designated shopper is trying to go to the store just once a week. It seems that he never gets the right things. They are used to trendy city grocery stores with funky produce. The Tofu needs to be extra firm. They uncomfortably whisper about the lack of craft beer……

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They cook strange things. They are used to preparing their own meals now with inexpensive ingredients, but live on $6.50 coffees. Back in my youth (otherwise known as the good old days) I remember preparing Kraft Dinner with tuna or frozen vegetables. That was about as adventurous as it got with cheap student food. The second youngest cooks instant potatoes and pasta, and made a gumbo with imitation crab meat. Our daughter lives on avocados and tofu, Our youngest, who returned home the most recently, shared pictures of his most recent creations – Vegan Macaroni and Cheese with Vegan Manhattan Meatballs, Vegan Chocolate Cake Shake, and Fish Tacos. He is not vegan or even vegetarian. He just found sales on vegan items in his local grocery store.

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese with Vegan Manhattan Meatballs
Apparently Vegan Chocolate Cake past it’s best before was on sale, so this inspired a milkshake?
Fish Tacos with Red Cabbage? I could never get any of them to eat cabbage before they went to school

They have become creative cooks, willing to try things that they were never willing to eat before they moved out, and this helps with our pandemic cooking feasts, where we make food with what’s on hand. There are only a few complaints, but they eat all day long, and definitely scrounge for food long after midnight.

There is Clutter Everywhere. None of the children brought home their furniture, thank goodness, but they each brought buckets and buckets of clothes, books, bedding and dishware. It’s quite crowded in the living areas. There have only been a FEW complaints. Why does our sister watch reality TV all day long? Why do the boys need to talk to their computers loudly while they are gaming?

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All in all, everyone seems to be doing their schoolwork, enjoying Zoom work meetings, video-chatting with Apps like Houseparty, and gaming with their friends. If they are able to get all of their schoolwork done online at home, and chat to their friends online all day long, why do they need to live away from home to attend University anyway?…..

Video chatting in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38110913

I am posting this to make light of our current situation. The whole world is holding it’s breath waiting in hope, and my family is at least blessed to be mostly together at home. Let’s hope this isolation at home is over soon. Please stay safe and healthy everyone.

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10 thoughts on “When University Students Return Home

  1. I love this! Experiencing similar things with my 20-something Link being here. No Boats on Sunday is my favourite cider! It’s Friday afternoon so will be heading to the fridge for one after my work-at-home day 🙂

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    1. I hope you and Link are reconnecting like we are. It’s a very different experience having them home but a good one. They manage to get to the cider first though!

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  2. I absolutely loved reading this! I am still dealing with the potty training (my youngest just refuses to do the #2 in the toilet) and my 8 year old is already acting like she’s a teen. She asked me for a bike with a mirror on it so she could do her hair while riding around our little village lol. My 10 year old is a mix between the other 2 but he has such a funny personality to go along with his antics.
    Have a great day Lillie!

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    1. Thanks Angie! I do find that many of the really unique but problematic things about my kids when they were little are things that are positive things in their lives now – so I hope that’s encouraging to you. My boy that was laid back about potty training has a laid back – happy personality today, my temper tantrum child loves politics and debates, and my child that couldn’t sit still is an athlete (so far anyway!) – I enjoy watching other people’s children’s personalities now,

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  3. Different generations living together constantly does present a big challenge. I can see why like to stay busy now with house renovations. Are your new college guests willing to help you here?

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    1. Some more than others! Two of the boys helped pull down an old ceiling in the basement and dispose of it, and one of the boys had a painting business last summer so did some painting of trim (and all the high up areas) for me.

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