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Preparing yourself to have the best holiday experience


Make your loved ones your No. 1 Priority

Remember to be present with the ones you love. To ensure that the time you spend with your friends/family is of the highest quality, focus on them. Ask yourself questions about them to get ideas about how to approach spending time together. For example, what do they like? How can you make them happy? What makes them laugh? What do they need help with? Asking yourself these questions will generate answers that you can act on. Love doesn’t always have to be grand gestures. It can be as simple as small acts of kindness that hold bigger meanings. It is important to be grateful for those around you and to appreciate the people in your life.  

Here are some ways to prioritize your friends/family:

  • Limiting phone usage and give them your full attention
  • Completing work ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about non-family things
  • Order gifts ahead of time that can really help them, because a thoughtful gift not only helps out your loved one, but also lets them know you were thinking of them
  • Write a holiday card explaining how grateful you are to have them in your life, because this will make them feel valued

Expect Hiccups

If you think your holiday trip home is going to go exactly according to plan, I wish I had your optimism. We all know about the sticky situations that can arise over the holidays.

Here are some of the most popular ways to plan for unexpected things:

  • Remind yourself to focus on what you can control, and that the things you can’t control are out of your hands. Worrying about things we can’t control often prevents us from fixing the things we can control. You have more power than you think!
  • Be empathetic. Avoid jumping to conclusions when something goes awry. Know that no one is to blame for a mistake. When we improve ourselves after making a mistake we grow. It’s the lesson learned that changes us, not the blame.
  • Understand that not everything happens for a reason, and that it’s okay to not be okay. Getting frustrated that you are upset only leads you down a rabbit hole. Instead, remember to forgive yourself. 

Plan Ahead

Holidays can be work in disguise. Although you should try to prioritize your family while you’re with them, there will be periods of time in which everyone is doing their own thing. These time periods are key to your success moving forward. Particularly with the Christmas break, using this time to get ahead of classes and work will save you a world of hurt in the coming year. Also,  aside from family time and productivity, you should give yourself time for self-care. If you’re constantly with family or working, you will face burn-out, which is the consequence of overworking yourself.

Here are some ways to plan ahead during break:

  • Create a calendar
    • Add your work/class schedule into your calendar
    • Add your extracurriculars
    • Account for time spent with friends
    • Add study/productivity blocks
    • Add time for self care
  • Look at the syllabus for your courses in the coming semester
    • Download/purchase the necessary materials ahead of time on your device
    • Review the necessary course materials
    • Create a notes template based on the units given in the syllabus
    • If the homework is assigned ahead of time, complete the first couple
    • Bookmark important resources that you will use within the next 6 months
  • Make a list of priorities
    • Rank your goals: Academic, athletic, musical, etc. and commit to the dedication you want to give to each of them. 
    • Knowing where your heart and your head are in agreement will enable you to skip time deciding what to do and instead focus on what needs to get done.

Hopefully you found some new advice in this article that can guide you towards making your holiday experience the best it can be. Happy holidays! And remember to be responsibly irresponsible over your break.

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