The next month and a half is supposed to be considered the most wonderful time of the year because of the holidays. But we all know that also means a lot of time with your family. For those of you college students coming home for Thanksgiving and winter break, you may have a big wake up call in regards to your personal space and your freedom. Here are some tips to help balance your expectations with your parents’ expectations.
- Prioritize – You will want to see your friends during the holidays but you also need to prioritize family time. If you go to a local college, prioritize seeing friends who may have moved out of state and are back for a short amount of time. If you went far away from home for college, consider getting a group of friends together so you get to see many people at once to limit the amount of time you are away from home.
Remember that your family will want to see you just as much, if not more, as your friends do. Your parents are used to seeing you every single day and if you go to school out of state, they may only see you once every couple of months.
- Compromise – If your family is having a big get together, try to compromise with your parents on when you can go out and see your friends. Allow your family to have at least one day where you are around and not out visiting friends. Most likely your parents will be exhausted from cooking and traveling and you can convince them to let you hang out with your friends at night.
- Communicate – Be upfront with your parents (and your friends) on what is important to you. Be honest on your expectations and be receptive to theirs. Your parents cannot read your mind and vice versa. They only way you can find out what they are thinking is if you ask and talk about it.
- Keep your cool – Everything may not go as planned. Plan for it. Instead of getting upset, take a deep breath and remove yourself from the situation. Getting frustrated is only going to make it more difficult for you and your family as the holidays causes stress for everyone.
- Learn from your mistakes – If you are a freshman in college, you will most likely encounter this problem again in the future. Learn from your mistakes and what worked and did not work. If you screwed up during Thanksgiving, try to make up for it on your (longer) winter break. Then apply what you learned to next year’s holidays.