It’s been an exciting freshman year so far, hasn’t it? You’ve discovered the freedom (and terror) of adulthood and you’re just getting into the swing of things. Perfect time for a break from reality, no? We’ve put together a (mostly not serious) guide to surviving your break with handy tips ranging from how to stay on top of your studies to navigating those awkward political conversations with relatives. Enjoy!


  1. Dodge questions about your relationship status
    It’s bound to come up at some point, and if it’s not your mother asking it’s going to be Aunt Edna, so you might as well prepare yourself now. Your relatives will want to know all of the intimate details of your life, including whom you’re dating and what your social life looks like.

    Maybe you’re focused on your studies. Maybe you haven’t met anyone. Maybe you don’t want to be in a relationship right now. Whatever the reason, you don’t have to tell your relatives anything about your personal life. Instead, deflect and dodge.

    Bring up a really volatile topic, like the recent election, or football, or something that’s going to get people fired up and make them forget about your love life. Well done, you!

    Okay, that last point wasn’t entirely serious. You don’t have to rely on volatile topics to avoid this uncomfortable conversation. You can simply tell your relatives that you’re focusing on your studies and will let them know when something changes. Done! 
  1. Make sure you get some alone time
    It’ll be so nice for you to be home and see your friends and family, but you might miss your new-found freedom. If you’re finding yourself getting overwhelmed with the amount of people you’re constantly engaging with, carve out some alone time.

    You can go to the public library for some solitary study-time (or to catch up on episodes of Game of Thrones, go visit a coffee shop and read a book, or take a walk around your hometown. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you can recharge your batteries.
  2. Avoid getting into arguments
    Yes, I did tell you to bring up politics or religion to dodge relationship questions, but that desperate times call for desperate measures. If at all possible, avoid getting into heated arguments with your relatives this Thanksgiving. If your family is into political discourse then have at it, but if it’s going to cause a ruckus and end in someone’s Uncle getting drunk and storming out, best to avoid the topic altogether.
  3. Spend some time helping out
    Now that you’ve been on your own for a bit, you’re probably starting to realize how much your parents have done for you over the course of your life so far. It’s time to start paying them back by helping them out around the house and doing things they like to do.

    I know it seems like the worst way to spend your break, but make sure you’re showing your parents some quality time. They’ve probably missed you more than they care to admit, and it’ll mean a lot to them.
  4. Catch up with your high school friends
    You likely went to a different college than your friends from high school, so take the break to catch up and see what’s new in their lives. We know, we know, you can Facebook stalk them and find everything out, but isn’t it more fun to meet over coffee and talk about your new lives?

    You might want to lower your expectations of things being exactly the same, though. People go through a lot of growth during their college years, and you might already be different. That’s part of life and it might be sad, but you’ve changed, too. Don’t forget that.
  5. Set aside time to study
    Unless you’re the luckiest student alive, your professors have assigned you work over the break. Make sure you set aside a little bit of time every day to chip away at the mountain of work awaiting you. You don’t want to be cramming your assignments into the last day and miss out on a proper send-off from your family.

    It’ll be much less stressful for you if you put in a few hours of study time every day, and it’ll probably impress your parents to see you being so responsible and studious. Win-win!
  6. Don’t forget your siblings
    If you have younger siblings, don’t forget to spend some quality time with them. Even if those little punks don’t act like it, they miss having you around and they’ll appreciate going to a movie with you or taking a long drive. Ask them questions about themselves and show them how much you love them. Thanksgiving is a time for family, after all.

We hope these tips help you make the most of your first break from college. Hopefully they make you appreciate your family and have a fun, stress-free time away from the pressures of college.


Let us know in the comments how your break was. Did you get to do everything you wanted to? Was there something you thought you’d do or enjoy that you didn’t? We’d love to hear about your experiences!