The 10 Stages of Going Home for the Holidays

Sarah Reese
May 4, 2021

Winter break is quickly approaching, and for most of you, that means you’re excited to put the books down, let your laptops collect dust, and get started on your Netflix binge watching list. Winter break is one of the magical unicorns of college where you have an entire month to essentially do nothing but wait until the spring semester starts back up. And though this sounds glorious, you will soon find that after things settle and the holidays come to an end, you’re wishing you were back in the four corners of your dorm room studying away - simply for the sake of your sanity. To prepare you, we have summed up the stages of what going home for the holidays is like. (We have all been there.)

Stage 1: Finals cease! Let's go HOME!

Our quote of the day, from Rugrats
  The moment you have been training for is here. Throwing away all of your exam study guides, not even thinking about how you did on your finals, quickly packing your bags, and frantically calling your parents to see if they are on their way to come get you (or alternatively rushing to the airport). Whatever your situation is, you can finally think about something other than physics and get on with your life. And also, let the Christmas countdown begin!

Stage 2: Reunited and it feels so good!

  Finally! You’re back in the comfortable territory of your hometown. You’re making plans to see the friends you haven’t seen in months, play with your dog, and more importantly… reconnect with your bed! Time is of the essence and you don’t want to waste a single moment.

Stage 3: “What on earth is a curfew?”

    What better way to kick off this vacation than cozying up on your couch at home with your dog and your favorite snacks. Mom’s baking cookies in the kitchen and folding your laundry at the same time (superhero) and the nostalgic smells are wafting through the air. And yes, Netflix just asked if you were still watching, and no, you don’t feel any shame about that. If this is considered wrong, you don’t want to be right.

Stage 4: The family party woes

Omg stfu already (credit: @kardashianedition on Insta)
If one more person asks if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend you’re going to scream. Also, no, you have zero idea what you’re going to school for and what you want to do when you graduate. Chill Aunt Susan! Time to consider recording the answers to the perpetual questions asked by every aunt and uncle so you can continue on in peace.  

Stage 5: Post-holiday blues

In the blink of an eye, the holiday cheer wears off, soon the Christmas tree is stripped of all your childhood glory and homemade ornaments. Now you’re left with nothing but a blank sheet of paper to write some New Years resolutions on.
It’s pretty common to feel the post-holiday blues. The holidays bring so much excitement, and lots of eating and you are probably feeling a bit sluggish and also a little unsure of what to do next… which is bad because you have three long weeks ahead of you.
If you're feeling overwhelmed or depressed, these mental health resources can help get you through it.

Stage 6: Commence cabin fever

Don’t you remember studying for finals like it was yesterday, dreaming of being bored to tears? Now you have just binged an entire series you were dying to get through and suddenly boredom strikes with a vengeance. Never underestimate the power of a little fresh air. It does wonders. Pssst: Looking for something productive to do? Redo your resume so you can get an internship this upcoming year.

Stage 7: Severe friend FOMO sets in

Cue the group messages counting down the days to go back to campus. And complaining about how annoying your little brother is and how grateful you are that you don’t have to deal with that anymore.  

Stage 8: The attempt to prepare for your new semester

Your professor has sent you the welcome email, your skin is crawling thinking about going back to the library that smells like burnt coffee, yet there’s a glimmer of hope just knowing you have new classes coming up. A new start! A new year! You’re ready to make the best of it.  

Stage 9: “Did my suitcase shrink?”

You’re packing up to go back to college, yet somehow, your belongings have doubled and nothing is fitting in your suitcase quite like it did when you came home. Maybe you got a lot of clothes for the holidays or forgot to bring all your winter hats and scarves to college the first time you packed up your things to leave, so now you have to sit on your suitcase to close it. Trust us, you’re not alone!  

Stage 10: Back to our regularly scheduled recording

Ahhhhhh, your dorm room looks a little more inviting this time around. You’re so happy to be back at college. Four weeks of time off was great, but you’re feeling rejuvenated and ready to ace some exams and make some new memories. Always remember, there’s no place like home… but college is pretty rad, too.