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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, January 29, 2023

Pampered homecoming does not meet expectations

After watching the Nov. 22 episode of “Saturday Night Live,” I was curious to see if the hilarious and catchy skit “Back Home Baller” was true to Thanksgiving break (pause reading here if you have not seen the video and watch it). As a freshman, I had always watched my older sister come back from college with stories and leave with leftovers. In the SNL skit the lyrics say, “I’m a back home baller, if I want something I just holler. I do what I want and I get what I want cause my parents miss their daughter!” I wondered if the situation would be the same for my Thanksgiving break.

As I left, I imagined platefuls of homemade food and loads of freshly done laundry. On the Badger Bus I had dreams of being reunited with my high school friends and dozing on my living room couch. All in all, I was picturing a break full of my newfound sense of college independence.

I did not have the break I imagined. College independence does not transfer from college to home, and it most certainly does not transfer from student to parent. I was shocked to find I still had a curfew and was expected to wake up before 9 a.m. every day. To finish my break I did not leave with leftovers, but instead with an argument and lecture from my parents.

On my bus ride back to Madison I thought over what had happened over the past four days. Was I being disrespectful for wanting independence at home? Was I being stupid to think I could continue to be free from my parents’ ideas?

I know I am sounding ungrateful for all that my parents have done for me, especially in the past three months. But, to me, Thanksgiving break is a time to be thankful and show my parents how independent I have become. All the money and time they have spent nurturing me over the past 18 years have paid off to help me become who I am today. So despite my independent behavior being seen as disrespectful, I am only showing how I have grown to become a self-governing woman.

My Thanksgiving break wasn’t what I expected and it definitely wasn’t a weekend for a “Back Home Baller.” My mother didn’t stock the fridge with Costco. My grandma didn’t say I looked taller. I didn’t do a whole load of laundry for just one sock. Though I did pretend to be napping when my mom needed help. And when people asked me what was going on with me I responded blankly saying “the same thing,” instead of my well-rehearsed speech of how the University of Wisconsin-Madison is the best school. Despite it not being the break I expected, it was the break I needed.

As college students, our independence is what makes us become who we are. Sometimes a week back with the parents helps us realize that we need to spend a little more time trying to make something of ourselves and a little less time trying to impress the people back at home. After all, it is nice when our parents make tacos when we say tacos.

Lilly Hanson is a freshman writer for The Daily Cardinal. What was your vist back home like? Do you agree or disagree with Lilly’s stance on growing up? Please send your feedback to

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