The holidays can be very stressful. It seems like everyone is spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with their family. You may feel pressured to spend time with members of your bio family. Or you may feel like you need to spend money you don’t have on gifts for others. How do other students spend the holidays? We asked and here’s what you said:

The holiday pressures are unavoidable. Sometimes I meditate or have a talk session with my therapist. I think it’s best to do whatever makes one happy. If there’s two bad options – try thinking about which one is slightly preferred or better of the two, go with that.

– Matthew R.

 

If I’m feeling stressed out, I’ll take time out for myself and just relax. I might sleep in one day or spend time at the archery range by myself. Going out with some friends out for a few drinks can ease the tension with family and help me relax.

– Austin S.

 

I constantly remind myself that the stress of spending time with my family is worth it, because there are unfortunate people who don’t have anyone to spend holidays with. Yes, my family can be annoying and it can be stressful to be with them. But there are also times where we may crack a joke, play a prank, learn a lesson, and have fun in general.  I may not be with the people I want to spend the holidays with, but some people have no one, so I just have to remind myself that I’m lucky to have people that care about me.

– Jorge P.

 

I had to stop spending time with my birth family over the holidays. It was too triggering and I’d end up depressed and anxious. It was starting to affect my grades and my mental health.

So now, I usually spend Christmas alone. I just work a lot instead. I figure that my coworkers have children and families to spend time with and I don’t, so I work so they didn’t have to. Christmas day, I go to work. When I get home, I watch movies on Netflix and eat ice cream and popcorn. I always buy myself a gift. I buy my cats gifts. I used to feel sorry for myself, but now I’m starting new traditions.

– Elizabeth S.

 

My freshman year I was too embarrassed to tell anyone that I didn’t have anywhere to go when the dorms closed over winter break. I ended up homeless for a month until I could move back into the dorms. After that, I realized that I needed to reach out and get help. I spent Christmas my sophomore year with my college roommate’s family.  I’m used to not celebrating holidays, I basically don’t care about them anymore, but it was nice to spend the holiday in a family that isn’t dysfunctional. This year, I live in an apartment, so I don’t need to go anywhere if I don’t want to. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet.

Anne E.

 

I’m a single mom with two small children, so I am making new traditions with my family. For Thanksgiving we eat turkey and watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

For Christmas, we decorate a tree. The first year, our tree was pretty bare, but we make a couple of ornaments every year and then I bought some on clearance after Christmas, so now our tree looks better. We write letters to Santa. Next year we’re going to get pictures with Santa. I can’t wait! I want to give them the childhood that I never had. I don’t have a ton of money, so I can’t go all out like I want to…but someday we will!

Janet C.

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