The Onion Dip: How to Survive Living at Home With the Family Again

By Diana Lichtenstein || Onion Dip Columnist and Allie Sokol || Layout Assistant

There is nothing better than spending most of your Junior year of college at home in your childhood bedroom! Seriously…nothing beats this! What tops it all off is the added bonus of parents and siblings working from home too, especially all at the same time, on the same wifi, and close enough to one another that it’s like you are sitting in on their meeting, and not your own. Work life balance becomes a bit tricky when the two things are stuck together like glue in this new wacky environment. Of course we all love our families and are very grateful, but some of these instances are comical. 

For example, don’t you just love sitting down, opening up your computer, signing into the Zoom meeting, saying hello, and then boom–you are kicked out? The sweet frustration of getting kicked off the wifi because of too much activity is really a feeling like no other. Sure, this is a first-world problem but with the world, basically all online, too many people crowded on the wifi is painfully unacceptable. Or how about you finally get to relax after whatever it is that you did, you attempt to go onto Netflix with a show-ready in mind, yet you are met with the curt message that there are too many users on your family account and you are not allowed to view anything. That one really hurts. 

I think one moment that is a recurring one in my life is my father barging in my room–no knocks of course–to say hello and ask who I am on the phone with. Now, this would be harmless if this was just interrupting a call with a friend or even an extended family member. In my case, this has occurred on not one, not two, but three different zoom classes. This was so fun! I loved turning bright red and going on mute during these times. I can only imagine what my peers and professors must have thought. 

When people think about breaks, often one of the first things that rush into a college student’s mind is catching up on sleep. No more 8ams, no more all-nighters from those times when, of course, you procrastinated that 5-page paper. Sleeping in was definitely my mindset but boy was I wrong. First day back and somehow I was up at 8 am sharp again. Why? Because the shades in my childhood room are smaller than my window so the sun blinded me. Great. Rise and shine. Because my dog just had to get a belly rub first thing in the morning and demanded I lay on the floor with her until she is satisfied. Because according to my mom, “I am wasting the day away” if I slept in. Don’t get me wrong, I missed my dog more than what should be appropriate, but I have also been sleep deprived for approximately three months straight and need my beauty sleep.  

All jokes aside, it’s very nice to be home, spending time with family but we know it can be a big transition and even sometimes a bit of a headache. Especially with j term just around the corner, here are some tips on how to make it doable for another whole month at home: 

  • Buy a “Do Not Disturb” sign for your door so your family does not randomly walk in on your zoom meetings
  • Turn off your phone and go to sleep earlier if you know you will be woken up earlier
  • Find your own corner of the house where you can have peace and quiet… and a stronger wifi connection
  • Make sure you and every one in the household has their own work station, as this is extremely important for the work life balance mentioned above 

Soon enough we will be back on campus (sorry freshman 🙁 ) and will miss family, pets, and other aspects of the home. So next time your dad embarrasses you on zoom by asking who you are speaking with, your wifi crashes, you get mad at your sister for eating the last cookie, or you can’t find your clean socks, remember you only have so much time at home and it really isn’t that bad. Cherish these moments, the good and the bad.

Juniors Diana Lichtenstein is an Onion Dip Columnist her email is dlichten@fandm.edu.

Junior Allie Sokol is a layout assistant her email is asokol@fandm.edu.

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