You just finished finals, you're pulling the posters off of the walls and packing up your college wardrobe to head home for the summer. Before you leave for the summer, saying goodbye to your roommates is a must. Whether you live in a dorm, sorority or fraternity house, or an apartment, finding cute and creative ways to bid your roomies farewell -- at least for the summer months -- can show them that you care.
Don't Struggle to Say It
Saying goodbye to your roommates isn't always easy. If you've gotten close to them, leaving for even a few months may make you sad. Transitions from one situation to another, such as leaving college for the summer, often bring up a powerful mix of emotions, according to psychotherapist F. Diane Barth's article, "Packing Up and Saying Hello -- Coping With Transition," on the "Psychology Today" website. Although you may not want to ever say goodbye to them, if you're going home for the summer it's inevitable. Instead of putting it off until the last minute or sneaking out without a farewell, face your feelings and say goodbye.
Celebrate your summer departure with a roommates-only party. Grab some take-out, order a pizza or set up a desk-top buffet of munchies. If you live on campus, check your school's policies on dorm parties, especially if your roomies are inviting guests. For example, Bryn Mawr college requires students to register parties that will have over 20 guests beforehand and most schools won't allow alcohol. Plug in your iPod, dance around the dorm room and reminisce about the past year. Think back to the parties that you had in your younger years, when mom came up with a craft for you and your friends to do together. Try a similar activity, making a commemorative item such as a signed T-shirt. Another option is to have everyone bring a small wrapped gift to exchange as part of the party.
If eating at the campus cafeteria or picking up fast food burgers is the norm, make your goodbye special with a dinner out at a fancy restaurant. Go beyond the casual chains and choose one that requires a jacket or tie. If this seems too pricey for your student budget, get creative with how you spend your cash. For example, stick to the less expensive appetizers and salads, ask if the establishment will let two of you split one entree, or indulge in a dessert-only meal, ordering a few sweet treats to share.
Sometimes saying goodbye doesn't require an over-the-top celebration. If you and your roommates are more low-key, try a simple heart-felt farewell. Before you say goodbye, look inward and list the emotions that you're feeling. Sit your roommates down and turn your feelings onto words. Make it specific, telling your roomies what you're thinking and feeling about the goodbye. For example, explain that you're sad that you won't have your weekly movie nights, but you're excitedly looking forward to next year when the gang moves into a new apartment. Before saying your final good-byes, don't forget to exchange summer contact information such as home phone numbers or addresses.
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.