family

Thanksgiving Break: Dos and Don’ts

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thanksgiving
Do:
Spend time catching up with your friends.

You probably haven’t seen much of your friends while you’ve all been away at different schools. Sure texting, social media, and Skype sessions help you stay in touch, but nothing compares to actual human interaction, so you should definitely carve out some time to hang out with your friends and just enjoy their company.

Don’t: Ignore your family.

Hanging out with your friends is important, but don’t forget about your family. While you’ve been off having a great time at school, they’ve been home missing you so don’t neglect them. Spend some quality time with your family: have a family dinner, a movie night, go shopping, or whatever else you want, but make the time count!

Do: Indulge at Thanksgiving dinner.

You’ve been away from home for almost three months by now, so you should take advantage of some great home cooking! Thanksgiving dinner has something for everyone, so make sure you enjoy your favorite part of your family’s menu. Sit back and enjoy the delicious food and quality family time.

Don’t: Overdo it.

By all means, eat mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac and cheese, and whatever else your heart desires, but be careful. You’ll be tempted to send yourself into a food coma, but you don’t want to go back to school ten pounds heavier when Thanksgiving break is over. You’ll be very happy to avoid that.

Do: Get some much-needed relaxation.

With finals just around the corner, this is a great opportunity to catch up on some sleep and enjoy time off from classes. Take advantage of your ability to sleep in. Snuggle up with your dog or cat. Stay in your pajamas all day. Lay in bed for six hours watching TV. Do whatever relaxes you.

Don’t: Neglect your responsibilities completely.

If you have any homework or papers due when you get back, make sure to find time to do them. If you have a test the week you get back (it sucks, but it does happen) make time to study or at least go over your notes. This goes for personal responsibilities as well. If you have a workout routine that you like to stick to, find ways to work out while you’re home. There are tons of guided fitness videos on YouTube, so don’t feel like you can’t keep up your exercise at home.

The Brighter Side of Winter

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every day I'm shovellin'

If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that this winter has been particularly harsh thus far. So if your plans have been ruined and your classes have been cancelled—AGAIN—here are a few ways to stay sane while you are cooped up indoors waiting for the blizzard to pass.

  1. Don’t feel bad about cancelling plans.

This one is important. If you made plans with someone before a snowstorm, don’t feel bad about changing or postponing said plans. Remember, your safety comes first. If you must drive in this weather, be sure the roads are safe and make a list so you can get as much done in one trip as you can.

 igloo

If something were to happen when you were out getting milk and bread, be prepared to build an igloo for safety in the case of an accident. This basic skill could save your life and even if there was no accident, practicing in the backyard could lead to hours of worthwhile fun.

  1. Learn a new skill

Between Pinterest and StumbleUpon, it’s easy to find something new to learn. Maybe you’ve always wanted to crochet a scarf. Or play the harmonica.

ice fishing

You could even learn how to go ice fishing, I hear Eskimo’s do this a lot in their free time why not try it out and see what the rave is all about.                                                                                   

  1. Catch up on homework

Okay so this one isn’t actually enjoyable but hey, it needs to be done. If you’re an assignment or two behind, now is a good time to catch up.

sockssocks

If your fireplace is running low on wood, you could always use that homework assignment your professor gave you last week. Staying warm or doing homework? I think we know the answer.

  1. Skype your family

Your parents are probably worried about you, as parents often are, because of the severe weather. Take some time to let them know you’re okay and while you’re at it, let them know what you’ve been up to lately.

faceplant

Like how you’ve become a famous YouTube star from sledding down a hill on your campus, then flying up 15 feet in the air and planting your face into the snow.  The Today Show has already contacted you about a guest appearance – mishaps in the snow aren’t so bad.

  1. Hang out with your friends

Just because you’re staying in doesn’t mean you have to be alone! Call up some friends in town or around campus and have some fun.

 undie

You could have a movie night, play some board games or participate in a philanthropy event! Every year, my campus hosts an undie run, you show up and donate your clothing to a homeless shelter. Then you get to run across campus in your undies, doing good and having fun all in one!

 

Moving Back Home for Summer

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The school year is coming to a close and for most of us that means returning home to our families. How do you live with your family again after a year on your own? Although excited to see them, who wants to go back to rules or maybe even curfews? Living well over the summer with your family is very important because its only 3 months out of the year. Here’s the how to.

When returning to your family, go with a clear mind. Don’t spend your time thinking about all the things you will be missing out on in your college town. Don’t think about all the old rules and chores you may be returning to. Instead, think about the positives. Odds are, your family misses you very much and can’t wait to see you. Think about home cooked meals, good times with the family, and reuniting with high school friends.

One of the hard parts about going home is dividing your time evenly between loved ones. Obviously your family misses you very much and wants to consume large amounts of your free time. High school friends will be calling and excited to hang out. A lot of times, it’s hard to not blow off the family when you’re excited about seeing your friends again. Be careful about equalizing your time as much as possible because you don’t want anyone that you rarely see to feel left out. Maybe try grilling out with the family then meeting up with some friends later. Compromise is the key.

In college we get used to doing what we want when we want. We are adults for that matter. We go out when we want, come home when we want, eat what we want, say what we want, and spend money when we want. If we want to, we can let dishes sit in the sink for a week, not vacuum our room and we can blast our stereos at their maximum capacity. It’s hard to get used to the old when we’ve finally broken out on our own. Parents often expect to know where you’re going, who you’re with, and what you’re doing at all times. A lot of parents don’t see the fact that you’ve gone to college as a free pass to let you do whatever you want. How do we get used to old rules?

My advice would be to talk to your parents and attempt some sort of happy medium which can make you both happy. Maybe suggest having no curfew if you stay in communication and let them know where you are. All it takes is two seconds to send a text message and inform your parents now a day. Obviously, sloppiness has to go. You’re most likely going to be expected to do some of your old odd jobs around the house and to be somewhat tidy. Keep clean without the complaints, I mean, you have 3 months of free room and board, it’s the least you can do. Common curtsies will be of most importance. For 3 months, be kind and pay attention to the little things that might bother your family.

You’ve gone the entire school year without your younger sibling’s annoying ways. Although we love them, we all know how little brothers/sisters can be. It’s hard to go back home and live with a little sibling again. Just remember you are more mature now and under control. If they start their antagonizing ways, just ignore them. Odds are, they’ve missed you a lot and your relationship will be different when you return home. As you’ve aged and grown, so have they. Just try and be patient and most importantly, a good role model.

Put these tips to use and live well this summer with your loved ones. Families are irreplaceable, and attitudes are spoilers. Go with a warm smile and a kind heart, and really soak in those 3 months at home.

-Speedy G.

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