A Student’s Advice for not Hating the “Happy” Holidays

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
  1. Change your sadness into someone’s gladness.
    If ever you are stuck in an area alone with little to do for the break, consider donating your time to something bigger than your Netflix account. Homeless shelters and soup kitchens are always looking for volunteers around both Thanksgiving and Winter holidays when their regular staff members need the time off to be with their families. Plan ahead and research charity options in your area and the smile you can put on at least one person’s face will be well worth dragging yourself out of your dorm room.
  2. Learn things for fun.
    If you do not want to be home for break, but you can’t crash with friends or stay in the company of a stranger’s pet, rest assured there are ways to make those weeks go by less painfully. If you are reading this, I assume you have access to a computer or at least a phone, and the internet is your best friend. Try tuning out whatever is going on at home by teaching yourself something new. You could learn a new language with an app such as Duolingo, take a formal course on EdX or watch endless YouTube videos that just teach you things. Crash Course by John Green (and team) has some pretty solid and playfully animated options. TedEd has taught me things I would never learn in school in five minutes. And The School of Life was made for figuring out how to be your best self.
  3. Invest in yourself.
    Whether you are stuck at home or stuck away from home, there are always opportunities to work on becoming the person you have always wanted to be. It doesn’t have to be a huge, stressful goal like “I want to make it on Forbes 30 Under 30, and I only have a decade left.” I’ve burnt some boring vacation time working on smaller goals such as teaching myself to do a split, learning how to prep a vegan meal on a budget, or experimenting with makeup products. Mini-goals are different for everyone. You could learn the names and locations of every country in the world, start a new exercise routine, revamp your clothing style. The possibilities are endless.

Storyteller, scholar, feminist, writer of prose and code.

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