Editorial: How to survive your holiday break

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It’s that time of year again: Students stress out over final projects and exams and then, suddenly and blessedly, it’s all over. The semester ends and allows for a small reprieve from daily life before the spring term begins. The holiday break is a sigh of relief for many students, and they get to head home for a few short weeks. We at the IC wish you all a happy holiday, but we also want to leave you with a few tips on how to survive your winter break at home.

1. Don’t pick fights with your siblings. We all know that holiday break is one of the few times during the semester in which you see your younger siblings. Don’t spend your break angry with your siblings for getting into your room while you’re away. It’s time for you to spend as much time as possible with them before they grow up to be teenagers and adults. Gross.

2. Let your mom do your laundry. All of it. You know that that huge pile of laundry isn’t going to magically do itself over break. Bring all of it home and let your mom (or dad) do it for you. That is one washing machine that doesn’t take quarters. In the same note, strip your bed and bring all that home to wash too. Your sheets and blankets probably haven’t been washed since school started (gross, we know), so it’s a good time to freshen those up as well.

3. Make a schedule of what you want to get done over break. It’s the same story every year: You get home, full of expectations of what you’ll do over break, but you only end up watching Netflix from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. and sleeping the rest of the day. Make a schedule of what you want to do: Go out with friends from high school or college, finish your Christmas shopping or even be proactive and file your 2017-2018 FAFSA. If you have a list, you will get stuff done and won’t feel like your break was wasted.

4. Take time to absorb in your hometown. Graduation suddenly doesn’t seem that far away. Whether you know exactly what you’ll be doing after college graduation or not, use your holiday break to get reunited with your hometown. You might not be going back home during next summer because of an internship or a study abroad. Go visit all of your old favorite hangouts and eat at your favorite restaurants. Chill with your parents. Play with your pet. Absorb that feeling of home because you might not have it again for a while.

5. Leave your room. Don’t spend all of break watching Stranger Things in your room by yourself. Also, it might feel like you need a week’s worth of sleep right now, but don’t sleep your break away. Go play Monopoly with your Mom. Let your dad finally teach your how to cook his world-famous Mexican lasagna. Take your siblings to the movies. It might be tempting to lock yourself away from the world for three weeks, but you’ll have a much better time outside in the real world.

6. Pretend to like your presents, even the white socks from great-aunt Ruth. It’s like one of our favorite Vine videos. The kid opens a wrapped avocado, puts on a brave face and thanks his mom for giving him an avocado. That’s exactly what your go-to plan should be. When your uncle Steven hands you a present shaped like a book and you open it to see Fifty Shades of Grey, just grin and thank him. Be kind. You’ll get nowhere if you act immature in front of your family members.

7. Don’t talk about politics. Just don’t do it. Even if you know exactly who everyone voted for, just keep your opinions to yourself. Don’t ruin your family ties over something that will just be changed in four short years. If you find yourself struggling to relate to your liberal uncle or being grilled by your conservative cousin, go hide in the kitchen. Help cook the food. Volunteer to sit at the kiddy table for this family holiday. It’ll make your life so much better.

8. Get into the holiday experience. It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or something else entirely; go ahead and get really into the holiday. Drink eggnog, light the menorah and dance the days away. Even if you aren’t religious, embrace your inner Cindy Lou Who and not the Grinch. The holidays are a time to be with family and celebrate the happiness in our lives. Aim for that and you’ll be golden.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if you follow this list or not. All that matters is that you spend your break doing what you love and not spending it stressing about school. So take a step back, chill and do what you do best.

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Editorial: How to survive your holiday break