October has come to a close and November has begun, before we know it the holiday season will be upon us. BUT don’t panic. Yes, the holiday season is crazy. You may be surrounded by strange family members, you might have no clue what to get your best friend, and you might be a poor broke college student. BUT don’t panic. You have to remember that the Holiday season also brings happy tidings such as sipping hot chocolate by a warm fireplace, and watching movies under knitted quilts. And to help make things easier, here’s the DL on your holiday preparation survival guide.
Holiday Survival Steps:
1. Check when UNH Dinning is providing holiday dinners. This is my favorite part of the Holiday Season. HoCo and the other dining halls go all out on food. Prepare yourself mentally and physically for an onslaught of delicious turkey, mashed potatoes and endless desserts. Check out the Dining page and mark your schedule for Thanksgiving Dinner (November 19).
2. Determine ahead of time which foods are worth stuffing your face with on Thanksgiving and during winter break. If you are up to a challenge dive in and eat all you want. If you are not a huge food junkie and you are not willing to wrestle with a nauseated stomach, then make some food decisions ahead of time. My personal favorite is mashed potatoes and as much as I love food, I am not willing to go to bed in food coma or with a giant food baby. If you are health conscious like myself make a plan to go to the gym before, after or before and after the food fest begins.
3. Check UNH Housing closing times and course schedules. The biggest thing students need to find out is what is going on in their courses during Thanksgiving Week and Finals Week. Remember that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a Friday schedule and some professors give out bonus points for attendance on that Tuesday and Wednesday! If you live far away, you should probably figure out travel plans now, whether that means catching a ride with a fellow student, booking a train ticket or catching a flight. It is always best to think ahead and be prepared. Plus, chances are your parents may have already nagged you about dates and times for the holidays.
4. De-stress. Holidays giving you anxiety? Between stressing over what you are going to do, presents to get, and finals to study for, the holidays can be a stressful time for students. My advice take a couple of seconds to de-stress. How? Check out some of my suggestions below.
5. Gift Planning! This is the most difficult step. We are college students. The majority of us are broke. What are we supposed to do about gifts? Check out the suggestions below, and if you have any other suggestions please comment.
How to Kick Holiday Stress to the Curb:
a) Take a minute for yourself and just breathe. Either lay on your bed, meditate or do something for yourself like yoga or treating yourself with a sweet treat. If you are looking for meditation techniques, check out the Health Services meditation suggestions.
b) Exercise your stress and anxiety away. Try going for a run or taking an aerobics class at the gym on campus. Check out a list of classes offered at Hamel Recreation Center.
c) Talk it out! Either with your friends or a professional counselor. It helps to get fears, stresses or anxiety off your chest and into the air. Doing so will not only make you feel better, but your friends or professionals may have some helpful advice or suggestions.
d) Watch your favorite sports team and let the stress melt away!
Affordable Gift-giving Ideas:
a) Attend the Evergreen Fair (a craft fair) that will be taking place December 4-6 in the Granite State Room (GSR). Follow the link for more information: http://evergreenfair.net/
b) Make a card out of construction paper and glue
c) Print out a photo of you and your BFF, sister, brother or family from your computer
d) Send some favorite photos to Rite Aid
e) Look to see if there are any fun holiday-crafting socials in your dorm
f) Buy a bag of candy and make little goodie bags for all of your friends
g) Do you knit? Knit a scarf or socks for a family member
h) Burn a CD of your favorite songs (kind of old school, but still good in my book)
i) Have a bag of popcorn handy? Attach a note to it and a promise for a movie night
j) Have hot cocoa on hand? Buy a mug and put hot cocoa in it! What a perfect present!
k) Take a trip to Walmart and see what affordable gifts they have on hand (Check out their $1 bins)
l) Go out on Black Friday (sometimes stores give away free items to the first 20-50 people)
My number one tip is to be creative with your holiday gifts. Big or small they will surely bring a smile if they come from the heart!