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“I’m Home For The Holidays” When Your College Student Comes Home

It’s time for the holidays—the happiest time of year! Well, not exactly—at least for someone in my shoes. With the stress of cramming for exams, planning a trip back home, wanting to avoid certain family members, and trying to visit high school friends comes lots and lots of anxiety.

When Your College Student Comes Home

Family especially can be tough around the holidays. There’s the family I look forward to seeing—especially my mom, dad, and sibling. And then the ones I’d rather not have to spend much, if any, time with.

I am in college now. Not too far away from home, but far enough that I don’t see my family every day. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had time to have a real chat with my favorite older cousins, or even see them. They have their own lives. They left home for college, too, and are now out in their respective careers, some even starting families.

The sad reality of the holidays is that sometimes you have to spend time with people you secretly despise. And you don’t always get to be around the ones you love either. For me, I’ll miss the cousins I was punished with when we were too noisy at the Thanksgiving dinner table. I’ll miss some of the aunts and uncles who ran around with me in the yard after we had eaten until we couldn’t eat any more. And I’ll miss many of my high school friends.

But those relatives I’d rather not spend another holiday with will be there, probably asking too many questions.

And then there’s me.

How The Times Have Changed

When I was little, I looked up to the few older cousins I saw briefly around the holidays. They were older, they had more freedom, they appeared to be happier, and most of all, they got to stay out past 9:00 p.m. The older kids had more fun, or so it seemed. Nobody ever mentioned to little me that with growing older comes responsibility, sacrifice, and most of all, nostalgia for how the holidays were when I was younger.

I do have a choice: go home and be comforted by family that shows up at the dinner table, the people who love you from the bottom of their heart, or stay at school with my friends sleeping away the sadness that accompanies the holiday blues.

Ultimately, I’m going home, because it’s home—and how can I not be drawn back to home-cooked meals and mom’s famous hugs?

Lauren Rubenstein is a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin.

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