Tips for Not Driving Parents Crazy When Home for Winter Break

After reading my recent blog post, “4 Tips for Not Driving Your College Kids Crazy Over Thanksgiving Break”, my parents felt a little “picked on”. So, I thought it was only fair to ask them for their viewpoint from the other side. Between my mom saying it’s impossible to get me up before 10 a.m., and my sister telling me she can never fit herself into my schedule, I realized that there has to be give and take on both sides. For some students, balancing our own needs at home on breaks while making time for family can be touch and go.

To avoid missing out on anything, I asked my mom, dad, and other parents for their tips on making the most of our time while home on breaks.

1. Spend time with family

They miss us while we’re gone! This is the perfect time to catch up with our families. Thanksgiving break seemed too short to squeeze everything in, but thankfully, winter break is usually a month or longer. I know I have a lot to catch up on with my parents and two sisters. Besides immediate family – aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, too, want some face time. Let your grandparents spoil you with their love and food (mostly food).

2. Stay Active!

This one is courtesy of my dad, the personal trainer. You don’t have to go crazy, but you also don’t want to get into the habit of oversleeping and being lazy, because it will be that much harder to get back to a more structured schedule when you return to school. Keep up your routine- your body will thank you later. (And, you can burn off the holiday desserts and your grandparents’ food gifts.)

3. Make up for lost time

We all miss a certain place or activity from our hometown. Use this time to do the things you’ve been thinking about while away at school. If you’ve missed the movie theater and haven’t had time to go while at school, go now! Although it seems tempting to just hang out with high school friends you haven’t seen for weeks or even months, once in a while include your parents and/or brothers and sisters. And if it is a little rest you’ve been missing, set aside a few hours to do something relaxing and for yourself.

4. Purge your bedroom

It feels great to get rid of all your old junk and see the bottom of your closet again. I know no one wants to think about cleaning while on break, but it really is worth it, and again, you don’t need to go crazy. Over Thanksgiving break, I started going through and getting rid of some old stuff when I came across my high school yearbook. It was great reminiscing! You never know what memories you can stumble upon when you’re home. Believe me, your parents will appreciate your clean-up efforts, too.

So, although winter break is the prime time for relaxation and catching up on the latest Netflix binge, it should also be a time to feel productive (while you don’t have to worry about exams or papers). And for my piece of advice: if you can survive finals week, rest assured, you can survive a month at home!

Erika Gruszewski

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