As a college student, the holidays become very different. Because Thanksgiving and Christmas are rapidly approaching, I continually find myself reminiscing of being a kid during the holiday season. On long rides, my dad and I would count the number of houses with Christmas lights up. I would watch the Thanksgiving Day parade, every single year, in the same spot on my couch all bundled up with the fireplace on. I specifically remember waking up on Christmas morning at 6 a.m. being completely overwhelmed with joy–a feeling I’m sure all of you can recall. I remember decorating cookies with my mom. I remember my brother opening up video games on Christmas morning practically in tears. I remember sitting in my basement making endless reindeer and Santa-themed crafts for my family. I remember those times with a smile, and think about how simple things were and how genuinely happy I was.
Fast forward to now–adult life is spiraling toward us all too fast. Your childhood home isn’t “home” anymore. You live in a dorm or an apartment. Your sibling moved into your room. You are on track to get a career of your own. You hardly have enough money to buy shampoo, let alone Christmas presents for your family and friends.
Although things may be much different at this point in our lives, one thing that will always stay the same is sharing the holiday season with the people that you love. We can’t slow down time, we can’t bring back our belief in Santa Clause, but we can continue to make new memories in new ways by cherishing the holiday season in a little bit of a different way.
There are only so many opportunities to spend with your friends and family at home as a college student. Wake up an extra hour earlier to eat breakfast with your dad. Meet up with your old friends for lunch. It’s the little things that culminate into fond memories in the future. Say yes when your mom asks for help making cookies. In a few years you will understand why–you may even reminisce on these times and wish you could return.
I know this article isn’t for everyone. Some people may already have obtained this mindset, some people may live at home and commute to school, but I also know plenty of students who don’t necessarily want to go home for the holidays because of the independence and confidence that they have gained while away at college. So many students feel defensive of their new college lifestyles, but there’s nothing wrong with putting your pride to the side for a second and doing a few things for your family and friends to let them know how much you appreciate them. You’ll never get these times of your life back, so please make the most of them now.