Home For The Holidays

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So…you made it. After hours of late-night study sessions, stressing out over final exams and papers, and praying for a miracle or two, you are finally done. Congratulations! You’ve packed up your room, said goodbye to your roommate, and eaten your last meal in the Caf for a month. Now, it’s time to head home. For many people, going home for Christmas brings feelings of comfort and a welcome break from the intensity of school. But for some, the idea of spending a month in their parents’ home or the town where they grew up does nothing but cause anxiety. Whether your family is the picture of normalcy or more like the Griswold’s, there are ways you can survive the holiday season at home with your sanity intact. 

Don’t overextend yourself trying to see everyone.

It can be tempting to try and see every person you know from high school, each friend from your old youth group, and every old co-worker who might also be in town. This desire to see everyone, while well intentioned, can lead to overextension – leaving you exhausted, stressed, and not enjoying the holiday season. Learn to say NO. I know – easier said than done. I get it. But trust me, taking quality time to see the people who matter most will be worth it in the long run.
Create new traditions.

Take the opportunity to make the holiday season a fun one! Suggest a movie to watch together as a family, teach everyone a new game, or try a new food at Christmas dinner. Not only will this be a fun way to connect, it gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself to your family all over again – as your college self rather than the person who left a few months ago.
Carve out time for yourself.

Constantly visiting relatives, fielding questions about your future (oh come on, you KNOW you have at least one relative who will ask about what you are doing after graduation or when you are getting married), and trying to remember why you like all these people in the first place can all make the holidays draining. Remember to take time for yourself – hide in your room and read a book (maybe something NOT related to school), go for a walk, take a nap, watch a movie. Take time to recharge so you have the energy to enjoy the holiday season fully.

To be fair, it is possible you will try all these suggestions and still return to campus in January overwhelmed and furiously trying to craft reasons to not go home again until you graduate. If this happens, please reach out to the counseling services at the Wellness Center. We can provide support as you explore why your family makes you feel crazy and maybe learn some new things about yourself along the way! 

Have a blessed holiday season!

~Brittany and the Wellness Center Staff

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