How to Survive the Holidays With Your Family


annoyed son

Every college student looks forward to going home for break. There are homemade meals, no classes or homework. Winter Break should be a relaxing time before you return to Mount Pleasant for Spring classes. 

Going home also means spending a lot of time with your family. Sometimes that doesn't always go your way. In fact, being home for break can be just as stressful as exams. With your mom constantly asking you questions about your health ("It looks like you put on some weight"), grades and dating life it can feel like you are under interrogation. And when your younger siblings begin begging you to play with them, it might be harder to relax than you thought.

Look on the bright side: Winter Break only comes once per year. So here are a few ways to get through those sometimes hectic weeks at home.

1. KEEP CONVERSATION TO A MINIMUM
You’re at the dinner table surrounded by food and family. It looks a lot better than the McDonald’s you have been living off of for the past couple of months. Your mouth salivates as you lift a forkful of turkey to your mouth. Then you make eye contact with your mother. “So how has school been? Are you dating anyone? Have you looked into any internships for the upcoming summer?” You slowly put down your fork and fake a smile. These kinds of questions are a staple of family get togethers. This time, try to give only a few words back. “Yes, no, sure, it’s cool.” These are the kinds of answers that are your allies at the dinner table. The less you talk, the more time you have to get that wonderful food into your belly. 

2. GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING FUN
You have been stuck in the house for a couple of days now. It felt good to relax, but now you’re ready to go out somewhere. Make plans with your family to get out of the house. Take advantage of the seasonal shopping deals and you might end up with more than just quality time with your parents.
“If you’re lucky, they may even buy you clothes at the mall just because they miss having you around,” advises sophomore Brennan Edwards.
Going to the movies is also a good option, especially since you’ll be able to sit in silence and let the characters in the film do all the talking.
Family dinner at a sit down restaurant? Sounds like fun, especially since your parents are throwing money down for that too. Maybe going home isn’t so bad after all...

3 GET SOME ALONE TIME
Even though you’re home with family, don't think you are required to spend every waking minute with them. Meet up with some hometown friends and go out for a drink. Go to your room, put some earphones in, and let the music drown out all the political bickering in the living room. Go outside and take a walk. Breathe in the crisp, cold winter air and enjoy the peaceful sound of fresh snow crunching under your boots. Sounds pretty relaxing doesn’t it? 

YOU SURVIVED. NOW WHAT?
When you think about it, you haven’t really had to deal with a whole lot since you’ve been home. Your family has been genuinely interested in your life away from home, they have purchased tons of clothes for you, and put meals on your plate.
It might be annoying to answer tons of questions, but in the end everything your family does and says is because they care so much about you. You can get back to your own personal life at school after break is over, but while you’re home, realize all that your family does for you. Don’t think of it as surviving or dealing with your family over break. 

Enjoy every second that you have with your family this holiday season.
 

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