How to survive your family over the holidays: a college student guide

By Lwilliams

Even if you got homesick in college, going back home can be quite an adjustment. Living on your own terms and then coming back home to live under your parents’ rules can be a shock to the system. Not to mention all the relatives coming into town asking you tons of questions about your new college life. Wondering how to handle it all? Check out these tips to survive your family over the holidays.

Try not to sleep in every day

"I'm up! I'm up!" - Courtesy of Tumblr
"I'm up! I'm up!" Courtesy of Tumblr.

Not having to wake up for an 8 a.m. lecture is great, but you may be in for another type of lecture if you choose to hibernate. With all the holiday tasks coming up, your family may need your help. So, don’t make sleeping in too much of a habit. Besides, waking up early has its advantages – like waffles.

Be prepared for an onslaught of questions

"Ask away." - Courtesy of
"Ask away." Courtesy of

“Have you decided on a major?” “Are you dating anyone yet?” “Why aren't you dating anyone yet?” “What are you going to do after you graduate?” You may not have all the answers just yet, but it’s a good idea to start thinking of what to say. Still thinking of a major? Talk about all of the exciting new classes you are taking and what has interested you so far. Not hitting the dating scene yet (or too much)? Focus on what has been keeping you occupied, whether it’s a new student group, sports team, Greek life, etc. You’ll probably have tons of questions thrown at you, so take this opportunity to share all of the experiences of college with your family and friends instead of answering with a simple “It’s fine.”

Schedule time for family, friends, and yourself

Buddy's overly-ambitious to-do list, courtesy of
Buddy's overly-ambitious to-do list. Courtesy of

You may have a lot of people to see – and a short amount of time to do it. Prioritize your schedule and make it a point to spend quality time with your family and friends. Holidays can be stressful, so be sure to leave some me-time so you don’t exhaust yourself. Sometimes, a little bit of solitude can be just the thing you need to survive the holidays.

Try to be accommodating

Deep breaths and carry on. Courtesy of
Deep breaths and carry on. Courtesy of

Were you planning on sleeping in your old room, but find that your Great Aunt Ethel has taken over? Yeah, it sucks. But, in order to keep peace and sanity during the holidays, try to go with the flow. It may be much easier said than done, but trust us when we say it’s wise to pick your battles. Pitching in to help here and there is also wise. Take the dog for a walk, play a game with your younger siblings, offer to take out the trash. These small tasks will show how much of an adult you've become, and it just may allow you to take a night off to see friends without getting grief about it.

Take advantage of all that great food

Feed your inner child, courtesy of
Feed your inner child. Courtesy of

The homemade pies and cookies, the fridge stocked with “real” food, the comfort foods you missed the most – all of it. Enjoy all the holiday goodies before you have to go back to your campus dining hall.

How do you plan to survive the holidays?

Have some tips on surviving the holidays back home? Share them with us on Twitter or in the comment section below.