Going Home To The “Perfect” Family

Most kids go on exchange for the language, culture and new experiences. Me, I went to
get away from my parents. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted the other perks from exchange too, and
I do love my parents, but I just can’t stand them. I went my Junior year to Belgium. I had two
pretty casual host families that basically let me do what I wanted. For once, I had the power to
make my own decisions without my parents influence, and I loved it. I grew to be so independent
that once I got back, I found myself avoiding my parents just after a couple days.

My family is that family that you look at and say, “wow, they’re so perfect.” My parents
are both very accomplished people who also happen to be very critical. As a result, my sister and
I feel so little when we are around them, that we try to avoid being criticized constantly as much
as possible. People only know what I want them to know about my family. Only my friends
know I have a sister, and only my closest friends know why I never see her. My sister and I don’t
get along with my parents. I try, but my sister tries to have the least amount of contact possible,
but enough so that they will still pay her college tuition. This might sound very cold, but trust
me, what happens in the “perfect” family behind closed doors is messier than you would
Coming back into this mess has been the hardest thing about returning from exchange. I
need to keep myself together through this mess so I can get out. The only way I really coup with
it is taking my mind off of things, and focusing on living my life again. I’ve distracted myself
with the school musical, hiking, friends, and school work. If I didn’t have these things to distract
I think it is important for all former exchange students going back into high school to
distract themselves from the world of family, mean girls and jocks. Just getting through that last
year, that defining year, is incredibly important when applying to colleges and looking toward
the future. In my case, flunking out is not an option, so instead I keep going. I keep up in all my
classes no matter how boring or close minded they are. I’m not the greatest student, but for me,
focusing on school is what will get me through this year.

For all of those kids out there struggling to adjust back to your family, school, and
friends; you’re not alone. We have all been forced back into the cave, and are waiting for what
feels like forever to get back into the light; into the world of independence. (Yes that is from
Plato). We will get through this battle together and once again, get back out there into the real
world. As a famous high schooler once said, “We are all in this together.”

This post was admitted anonymously

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