It the most wonderful time of the year….or is it? Thanksgiving and Christmas are great times to go home, take time away from school, and to refocus. Going home is a great time to reconnect with friends from high school and enjoy new friends you have met over the semester. Home is also a time to check in with the family and provide them with an update on your progress this semester. Prepare share yourself. 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.
If you have embraced a new sense of self, explored your new freedoms, or have a new outlook on life, that it may not be readily received from the family. For almost two decades, your family and friends from home have known you a certain way, so coming home a newer person may be a surprise and may take some adjusting on their end. Be prepared for questions on your major, what you plan to do with your degree, how your dating life is progressing, what organizations are you a part of, etc. Have answers prepared and sound enthusiastic to share.
Have you lost contact with old friends? You can use this time to reconnect and pick-up where you left. Find out what is new with them and share your experiences away from home. Spend time with your partner and let them know how much they mean to you. Long distance relationships are tough to navigate through and holiday breaks are a good time to reconfirm your feelings and commitment to each other.
Going home is a great time, but it does bring a certain level of stress. You could be pulled in different directions and be expected to share yourself with everyone. Utilize this time to catch up, but also enjoy the break and do things that will help you enjoy your break.