It is Christmas Eve and the holidays are among us. You have finished your first semester and your family is excited to have you home and hear all about it. Don’t be surprised when the family plays 20 questions with you at the dinner table. The family will be excited to hear about your classes, what you are learning, and of course who you are dating. Save the frustration and the embarrassing line of questions. Prepare for potential questions and have responses ready for the family. They do not mean to pry they are excited to see how you and how you have grown in the last 4 months.
Going home can also create a certain level of expectations. Be sure to communicate your expectations with family. If you plan to divide your time between family, work and friends be sure to communicate that information, as they may have plans for you. Friends will want to interact with you, family will want their time with you, your partner will want to spend time together, and then there are the things that YOU want to do.
Be sure to communicate your plans to avoid disappointment. Let your family know your plans; when you plan to come home, if you plan to sleep at home each night, nights you plan on going out with friends, how much you need to rest or catch up on reading. Whatever your plans are be sure to communicate them and be flexible if there are last minute changes.
Going home is a great time, but can also cause stress and frustration. The key to a happy and stress-free Winter Break is communication. Everyone will want to see you and know about your first year, oblige them and share the details of your experience. Make time for everyone and do not allow anyone (or thing, avoid overusing your phone, tablet, or laptop) to monopolize your time. Utilize this time to catch up, but also enjoy the break and do things that will help you enjoy your break.