Dear Barb – You Can’t Go Home Again

Dear Barb:

I was away for my first year of university and I recently returned home for the summer. When I got home it seemed everything had changed and it doesn’t feel like home anymore. In fact I just want to go back to school! I tried to talk to my mom about how I feel but she doesn’t want to hear it. My friends all seem to have changed and I don’t feel like we have anything in common anymore. My mom and sister were really happy when I first came home but now it seems like they are busy with their own lives and I just don’t know what to do with myself. Plus my mom is trying to give me a curfew and after being on my own for eight months, I really don’t think she should do this. My sister and I had always shared a room and now it seems like she’s taken over the whole room and I have no space for my stuff. I have been texting my friends from university and a lot of them feel the same way. I feel kind of sad and almost wish I hadn’t gone away to school or that I hadn’t come home! Is what I’m feeling normal and will it eventually go away, or is there something wrong with me? Looking forward to your response, Amber.

Hi Amber:

No there is nothing wrong with you, what you are feeling is normal. While you were away at school everyone’s life moved forward just as yours did. This is all part of growing up. We often yearn for our childhood, but yet want our independence. While you were away you grew up and experienced some freedom and independence which you are unwilling to relinquish. Your mother is still seeing you as the same young girl who left home eight months earlier and therefore is treating you in the same manner. While away at university you would not have had to answer to anyone about your comings and goings, but at home your mom may want to know where you are going and when you will be home. You and your parents have to make adjustments. Also it’s pretty normal not to have as many common interests with your friends at home as you did before. You are all becoming adults and following your own paths in life. It may take your parents a while to realize you are growing up and capable of making your own decisions and choices. On the other hand, you are living in their home and so should follow their rules. It’s a balancing act for everyone and all part of the maturing process.

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Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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