As much as I love being at University in Sheffield, when Christmas starts to draw closer I do begin to miss home. Once you have had your flat Christmas meal, exchanged your secret Santa presents and belted out a few Christmas bangers in Corp you start to yearn for the simpler times of home. Home is where the heart is, but also where the meals are cooked for you, the hot water always works and the wifi is much quicker.
The door opens, mum gives you a big hug, dad shakes your hand and you sibling seems largely unfazed by the whole ordeal. He/she knows their preferential treatment is about to end. You gift your mum a large basket of dirty washing. Mum will say “shall we put the kettle on” and you sit down to brace yourself for the barrage of questions that are about to be fired your way. At the back of your mind the whole time you are wholly aware that once the “so how are you getting on?” questions are out of the way, the conversation will veer towards your love life.
“So are there any special girls in your life at the moment?”
You squirm a little, stuck trying to think of an answer that doesn’t involve talking about the girl you brought back from Plug last week. “Nah not really” you reply nonchalantly, praying for the conversation to move on to something else, ask about my assignments if you really must.
“Have you been attending all of your lectures?”
No choice here but to lie. The thought of your Thursday morning 9am floats through your mind as you remind yourself that you missed the last two. You checked the slides and convinced yourself that you’d be able to catch up. You were wrong but did rather enjoy the extra time in bed. “Yeah my attendance is much better than most of my mate” you lie.
Meeting your mates in the pub
It’s been three months but it’s like you only left for a day. The roastings commence very quickly and you slip back into your unique form of banter that you have shared since year 7. A few pints in and your wealth of embarrassing stories begin to slip out. You regret this immediately. Without fail, another group of mates walk into the pub – it’s the ones you spent most of 6th form avoiding. “Ah hey great to see you guys, it’s been ages!” Nobody invites them to pull up a chair because nobody wants to hear their quite frankly boring stories.The night out in your hometown
You’ve had a whole year of Seshperience (sesh-experience) and you’re ready to hit the clubs of your hometown hard. The night begins normally, pre drinks are off to a flying start. The first shock of the evening is the 25 minute taxi you have to take to get into town. It costs you £4.50 each and this hurts because normally in Sheffield you can just walk there. You arrive in town, there’s a group of drunk chavs in the distance, the clubs look quiet so you hit up a Wetherspoons assuring yourselves that it’ll kick off soon. It doesn’t. The clubs are quiet, more expensive and the music isn’t nearly as good. You end up in Popworld and convince yourselves that it’s the company that matters not the club. You miss Sheffield.
You came in at 4:30am the night before and woke up your parents. They’re angry because they have work today. In your hungover state you mumble a weak apology and collapse on the sofa to tuck into some box sets on Netflix. They load instantly with no buffering. This makes you happy. After a whole day of achieving nothing but finishing a whole pack of biscuits yourself and 5 cups of tea your parents come back from work. “What have you been up to?” they ask. “Did a bit of work then chilled” you lie, whilst simultaneously trying to sit on the empty packet of jammy dodgers.
Your room is already messy despite having only really slept in it. This angers your mum. She asks you to tidy it. You think this is ridiculous but it realistically only takes you 5 minutes to do. You promptly message the group chat to see who’s up for the pub.
Any notion of January exams has completely disappeared from your mind because today you’re just going to drink and eat to excess. It’s nice to see family you havent seen for months and your grandma has made an absolute tonne of cakes. You spend Christmas just like you had done each year of your life beforehand. You receive a surprising amount of kitchenware and socks because “you can never have too many socks.”
Oops, better start revising now
You’ve got less than a week until you’re back at uni and you’ve known full well that soon after Christmas you have 3 exams. Weeks of “I’ll do it later” have left you in this position. You manage a solid 2 and a half hours before your friends invite you to the pub and you give in because you’re bored and weak. Again.
Back to uni
Having spent the last few weeks doing very close to nothing, it is time for your return to academia. You pack your bags into the car and say your goodbyes. Life at home felt somewhat restrictive compared to the freedom of uni and whilst having dinner cooked for you is nice, so is doing whatever you like, when you like. You’re secretly quite happy to go back to uni, but your parents are thinking exactly the same thing.
You get back to Sheffield and remember why it is that you came. You’re constantly surrounded by friends, the nights out, and the world is yours to play with. Whilst home home can never be replaced, these three short years of your life will surely be the best.