1. You get to Leave your Neighbors Behind

That’s right, no more music blasting through the wall into your delicate ears while you’re trying to sleep or study or watch Netflix. No more lifting your sleepy head from your soft pillow at two in the morning and thinking, “Am I hearing what I think I’m hearing?” No more homicidal fantasies featuring you breaking down the paper-thin wall with a sledgehammer and wreaking your vengeance. You get to go home and the only annoying noises you’ll here are from your parents waking up at normal hours and shuffling around the kitchen. You’ll realize how much you missed it.

  1. You Get to See your Pets

Anyone who knows me knows that my pets are the shining lights in my otherwise dark abyss of life (too poetic?). Going home means being woken up by kisses or snuggles or a reptile staring you in the face (depending on what kind of pet you have, of course). There is no love like a pet’s love and I hope all of you enjoy furry (or scaly) embraces when you step through your front doors.

  1. You Get to Eat Quality Food

No more frozen dinners and liquid lunches. You’re home, which means five times the refrigerator and cabinet space. Your parents’ kitchen means no sticky countertops and no need for passive aggressive notes left for your flatmates. Being home means having your favorite kind of cereal in the morning and Mom’s mashed potatoes at night. There’s nothing as good as eating something that your mama made for ya – because you know the primary ingredient is straight up love. That lady loves you and if you don’t get seconds, she will definitely take it personally and spit in the banana bread she makes for you tomorrow.

  1. You Get to See Your Family

I saved the best for last. There’s nothing like family. And I don’t just mean by blood, I mean anyone who you can be your whole self around – people who love you and miss you when you’re gone. The holidays are a wonderful time because people are traveling from different places all over the country or even the globe to spend an intense couple of days with the people who remember the time they wet their pants in primary school and cried for the rest of the school day. The holidays are stressful, everyone has that one relative that they wish would get a flat tire on the way to the Christmas party, everyone has the awkward conversation about what they’re doing with their life – or – what they’re not doing with their life, everyone gets grilled about their love life, it becomes exhausting. If you’re anything like me, by the end, you’ve barricaded yourself in an upstairs bedroom with a bottle of champagne and a platter of Aunt Suzy’s finger foods, and if you’re lucky, you have someone just as pooped beside you to share with.

Kat Stubing