Preparing for the holidays: student perspectives

coffee by the fireWe polled a handful of current students to share their perspectives on the holidays.  We hope this helps as you continue to prepare for the coming holidays!

(This is the second installation in a three-part series on preparing for the holidays.  Tomorrow we’ll hear a few health and wellness tips from Whitworth’s Health and Counseling Center.)

What would or has been helpful from parents in the past in preparing for holidays?

  • “The survival packages/final baskets are actually really nice. They’re just something extra that helps out during this stressful time, especially because we don’t get random snacks very often,” Hannah, ’15.
  • “My mom calls me all the time and it’s actually really helpful. Whenever I feel homesick, it’s nice to be reminded that somebody at home still cares,” Willa, ’14.
  • “I like a phone call where I can talk to my parents and siblings. Honestly, during finals, if you want to do well in your classes you will lost a lot of sleep and ultimately wonder if it’s worth it. So having a call of encouragement helps motivate me when my stress load is high,” Brennan ’15.
  •  “My mom would always send me the candy survival packages. She’d write a note to go along with it, with words of encouragement,” Rachel, ’14.
  • “A written letter would be nice. It’s just more personal and would help me survive finals week,” Austin, ’17.
  • “Encouraging notes helped a lot. They just reminded me not to stress so much and that everything will be okay,” Mary, ‘14

What was helpful from parents in the past during holidays?

  • “Getting the time to catch up with my family,” Mary, ’14.
  • “A home-cooked meal is really nice after eating cafeteria food or ramen all day. Just having a space to relax and having down time is nice, because I need the time to recover from finals to get ready for the holidays,” Hannah, ’15.
  • “I don’t really need much, just the familiarity of home. Just having those family dinners and being around family was what I needed,” Willa, ’14.
  • “Just being able to have food whenever you want and sleep however long you want. It’s good to know that it’s okay to do little for the next couple of days, so I can get the rest I need,” Brennan, ’15.
  • “It’s great to have my family all together again, especially since we’re spread out across the country. It’s nice to just be home and have good food,” Rachel, ’14.

What are your needs during the holidays, or what do you wish parents knew about your needs at the holidays?

  • “If I’m constantly busy, I won’t be well-rested for the next semester, so I don’t like planning anything. I do want to have fun and go places, but having relaxation time is just as important,” Hannah, ’15.
  • “I just really need the time to de-stress. In other words, time to be lazy and read fun books,” Mary, ’14.
  • “If there’s one thing I could request, it would be to be left alone for the first few days, but to always be invited to activities so that there is an open door. It’s nice to have the option without being forced to do things,” Brennan, ’15.
  • “I want my parents to know that I need to spend time with the family. And baked goods,” Austin ’17.
  • “My parents are pretty good about realizing that I need time to rest after my grueling semester. I think my needs are well-met during the holidays,” Rachel, ’14.

Anything else you’d like parents to know?

  • “If you are the parents of seniors, please stop asking them what they’re going to do with their lives. We’re working on it!” Rachel, ’14.
  • “I would ask your kids what they need and what they want. If they need space, just give them space.” Willa ’14.
  • “If parents could help us gracefully make the transition and recognize that we, as college students, are in an ‘in-between state’ between dependence and independence, I think that would help a lot,” Hannah, ’15.

Here’s to a great holiday season!  Happy Thanksgiving.

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This entry was posted in Health and Wellness, Parenting College Students, Parents and Families, Staying Connected, Student Development and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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