How to go solo during the holidays


Denise Barajas

The holidays are here, and while many students are eager to head home to their families, many are forced to spend the holidays away from home.

For these students, the holidays can be pretty bittersweet when they are off in college and home is too far away for them to get to. Time off from exams and writing papers is great, but spending that time alone is usually not. For most people holidays are meant to be spent with family (blood or otherwise). However, if for whatever reason you are unable to be home for the holidays, here are some helpful tips on how to enjoy the holidays anyway.

1) If you cannot go home, bring home to you. For example, try preparing a meal you can virtually eat alongside your family via Facetime or Skype. You can have one of your family members place their computer on the dinner table while they eat, giving you the opportunity to experience the family gathering through your own computer.

Our generation is extremely fortunate in that getting connected with family and friends is nowhere near as difficult as it use to be. Take advantage of this fact, and use whatever technology you have at hand to make the most out of your holidays through Skype, Snapchat, Facetime, etc.

2) Find a generous buddy willing to open up their home to you for the holiday. “Try to just go spend the day with a friend’s family. I have some friends and sorority sisters who cannot go home either, so that’s what they are doing,” said senior criminal justice major, Lily Ramirez.

Holidays typically make people feel generous. If you talk to some of your close friends or coworkers about your situation, chances are you are bound to find someone who would be willing to invite you to their family’s Holiday celebrations.

3) If you are not the only person in your friendship circle that cannot go home for the holiday, make a group and spend the day with each other. “Try and get together with friends who are all here and can’t feasibly go home as well. You can all get together and just have a party,” said Thomas Duong, a third-year computer science major.

White Elephant gift exchanges and Secret Santa parties are very common among friendship circles, and many enjoy making these types of events traditions among their close niche of friends. Traditions like these are a great way for students to not only avoid spending the holidays alone but also to potentially create lifelong memories and friendships.

4) Another thing students can do to make this holiday an enjoyable one is to spread some holiday cheer. All political agendas aside, for many the holidays have evolved to be a time for giving thanks and spreading kindness. So whether you are or are not away from home this holiday season, maybe do some research on what you can do to help others.

There are many opportunities during the holiday season for students and community members alike to give back to those less fortunate. Many local nonprofits welcome and encourage people to volunteer in soup kitchens and participate in things like the food or toy drives for the less fortunate.

Needless to say, the list of things students can do while they are away from home this holiday season is endless. Students just have to focus on what they can do versus what they will be missing out on. For one option to help spread some holiday cheer this season, check out the “Wish Upon a Star” toy drive going on now until December 11, in the University Union. For more information about the toy drive check out this link: