Well, This is Awkward

18 Dec

For most people the holidays stir feelings of immense joy and peace, but for some of us, the holidays stir unease and confusion. If you have hornets in your stomach heading into break, you are not alone. Take a few deep breaths and remember that this is only temporary.

Awkward conversations about the future. It is okay to not have a plan for your future yet. Most of us are just wandering around, making the best of what we have and trying to get ahead. You are most likely going to be grilled this holiday about what you are planning for after college. So, when the time comes and you are asked, “What’s next?”, respond calmly and say: “Right now, I’m really focusing on my studies and trying to get ahead. I’m looking forward to soaking in as much as I can and getting myself ready for next year (or when you graduate).” This is an easy and upbeat response that should satisfy most people’s curiosity. Feel free to practice something more specific to you.

Overbearing families. After a semester of freedom at college, it can be a shock to the system if you’re returning to your parent’s house for break. Going back to your old town, old room, and old restrictions can be difficult. Having a curfew again can be frustrating and may seem unreasonable. Remember that your parents love you and are trying their best to protect you. Instead of disregarding their concerns, have an adult conversation with them about respecting your personal space and your choices. Reassure them that you are capable of being safe and be ready to make compromises. If all else fails, its only a few weeks before you’re free once more.

Old high school niceties. Talk about awkward! Returning home can bring out those “friends” from high school that you have already forgotten about. Stay calm and grin through out. If you don’t want to hang out with them, let them down easy. Be nice, engage them in a few minutes of small talk, but ultimately tell them how busy you are with holiday and how  you might not be able to get together just yet. Sometimes the best strategy is to avoid long periods of time with people you’re no longer drawn to.

Being on your own. Not all of us are able to go home for the holidays, and this can be a unpleasant thing, or a very good thing. Everyone’s family situation is different, and sometimes spending time alone can be good. Remember to get some human interaction everyday you’re on your own. Take a walk, call a friend, catch a movie, go shopping, read a book, try a new recipe. Vary your activities and do things that fill you up. Do things that make you happy and put you at ease. The winter can be hard. Reach out when you need to, and give your space time when you need to. Put yourself first and have a wonderful break.

Hopefully your break will be pleasant and you will return feeling refreshed and ready for the spring. Happy Holidays, and Bear Down.

Erika

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