Well here it is: the first follow-up to my Best Summer Ever post from three weeks ago. Are you excited? Because I am.
This is a topic that I feel many people overlook, even myself. You see, I chose to go the college where I did for the sole purpose of being close to my extended family, but then somehow during the school year I gradually seemed to forget just how close I lived to them that it didn’t even cross my mind that I could visit them, or even just call them anytime I wanted. It’s not because I didn’t want to spend time with them or talk to them, I just got too caught up and overwhelmed by my classes, work and my new friends – like is expected of any college freshman.
So this is a reminder to all of you: don’t let anything distract you from spending time with those who mean the world to you and who have always been there for you.
Just like it’s easy to make family less of a priority during the school year because of all the homework, classes, work hours and other college things you have to keep up with, it’s also easy to convince yourself that you have other things of higher importance than hanging out with your family even when there’s absolutely nothing on your calendar. Somehow we convince ourselves that we have a really busy day when all we’re really doing is watching Netflix or reading a book and sending random people Snapchats because we just really want to use the new filter they put up today.
If you ever find yourself pushing back family time, or even dreading it, then here are five reasons to convince you to stop being antisocial and actually leave your room this summer.
1. You don’t see your family as much during the school year.
Maybe you live on campus, or maybe you still live at home, either way we both know you’re spending less time with your parents, siblings and extended family than if you weren’t enrolled in school. So take advantage of the few days where you don’t have to worry about when your paper is due and if you studied enough for that chem test, and do something with your family. Go visit your grandparents, play board games with your siblings, play cards with your grandma or just sit down for dinner with the whole family. You won’t regret it. I promise.
2. They make unfun things bearable.
Maybe your excuse to keep your distance from family is because they are always busy, or only want to do things you don’t enjoy doing. If I can promise you one thing, it is that doing something you can’t stand with your family makes it about 1,000 times more bearable, and possibly even fun.
Let me tell you a story. I’ve always loathed doing yard work. Ask anyone in my family and they’ll all be able to tell you about I used to always mope and groan and complain every time I was told I had to go pull weeds or rake leaves or pick up fallen branches. But then I realized I could use that chore to bond with my brother and sister. Just like two weeks ago I spent about a half hour pulling weeds in the rain with my sister because we were enjoying our talk too much to go inside even though our mom told us we should get out of the rain.
Related: I’m Thankful for My Sister
3. You could learn something you never knew before.
Now this could go two ways: either you’ll learn something new about their life or they’ll teach you something about gardening, sewing, cooking or the world. Both will be invaluable though. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love learning more about my family lineage and what life was like when my grandparents were kids. The world has changed so much, but I wouldn’t have really understood and believed that if I had never questioned my grandparents about their childhood.
Also, your family is a great big Wikipedia (only more accurate) that can teach you more than you might think. Everyone has experienced something different and unique and learned something from it, and could certainly teach you at least one thing you didn’t know.
4. Choosing to spend time with them will make their day.
Now this one I know it always true. Even something as simple as sending a text message or a quick phone call is enough to show your family how much you love and care about them. I mean just imagine someone who you don’t talk to daily randomly called you just to see how life was treating you? How happy would you be? I know I’d be extremely happy.
These people literally birthed you and watched you grow up, so don’t let them feel unappreciated. Think how you’d feel if when you’re 60 years old and your children or grandchildren don’t give you the light of day.
5. Hanging out with family is better than being alone and scrolling through the same things on Facebook for two hours.
Now, this last one you really gotta trust me on. Yes, I know it can be tempting to just sit at home and play on your phone and rally in the glory of being alone for once while everyone else goes to the family dinner, but I promise you it’s not worth it. I mean let’s be honest, all you’re going to do is just sit and scroll through the same photos and statuses over and over again wishing someone would just post something new and more interesting than what song they’re listening to right now. I mean maybe it’s just me, but I actually enjoy just sitting in the same room with all my family, even if we’re not actually talking. It’s just reassuring to be close to people who you know love you and it’s nostalgic to me as well, and we could all use a little feeling of youth couldn’t we?
Related: Do You Need a Social Media Detox?
I hope you can take something away from this week’s post, and that you enjoyed the first installment of my Best Summer Ever series. I’ll be covering the other six soon as well, so stay tuned to find out which one I write about next!
Here’s to family and all they do for us.
How do you spend your time with family?