Five tips for coping with holiday stress

As I wake from my Thanksgiving nap, I feel a slight twinge of annoyance toward my family and realize finals are quickly approaching. After that comes the real test of a college student’s sanity: winter break spent in constant presence of family.

If one more relative asks about my relationship status, I swear I’m going to respond with, “I don’t know, Grandma, how’s your marriage going?”

All salt aside, I love my family… Kind of. At the very least, I’m grateful to have friends whose families put mine into perspective; my family isn’t unapologetically racist and homophobic to my knowledge. I send my condolences to everyone who can’t say the same.

For anyone struggling to cope with spending winter break at home, I offer these five tips to give you temporary relief from even the most overbearing, inconsiderate, or just plain stupid family member.


1. Go on a friendcation.

Grab your favorite friend from back home, and go wherever the heart desires. I recommend not using a friendcation with a fellow NSU student as an excuse to leave town because parents are likely to respond with, “You see them all the time!”

Old friends are probably in the same boat as you and make a better case to leave town with. Even if you don’t particularly want to go with them, they are likely to be more pleasant company due to their shared desire to get away from family.

2. Sleep all day. Or fake it.

You don’t live with your parents anymore, so who are they to question your sleeping habits? We all know college does a number on the body’s clock.

Use that as an excuse to lay in bed for days binging “Gilmore Girls” and its revamp; everyone could use a good cry on occasion, and only the most bitter crows complete that series tear-free.

3. Get sick. Or fake it.

Honey, there ain’t no shame in faking diarrhea to skip the family reunion. Liquid feces may be the only surefire way to get yourself uninvited from the party.

Nobody likes a messy bottom, especially in their house. Oh, you do? Try finding a new hobby – one that doesn’t involve the potential spread of hepatitis A. I suggest knitting.

4. Play mind games at the family reunion.

This one is a personal favorite of mine. We all have that one relative who thinks he can get away with being an asshat forever because it’s “charming” when he does it.

Well, not anymore! Passive aggressive comments are great for dragging the culprit’s self-esteem to its rightful place: a Long John Silver’s dumpster fire.

5. Call them the f––k out!

Passive aggressive comments not working? Sorry to break it to you, but it’s time to turn the heat up. A good argument where you attack a family member’s morals or other values is sure to get you banned from future family reunions because you “can’t be tamed.”

Score! Now you’ve got what you wanted all along: some damn peace and quiet on your much-needed break.


But maybe that’s just me being petty. Anyway, I hope this helps!