Five Holiday Hacks for College Students

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Peyton Maria
A selfie with seven college students outside in front of holiday lights. They are dressed for cold weather in coats and knit hats.

Navigating the holiday season as a college student can feel weird. Suddenly your gifts are all dorm room essentials. Every family member wants to know in depth details about your last semester and judge you for your major or sorority choices. Not to mention that you spent everything you made that semester on books for spring, and you realized you didn't even buy gifts for your parents yet.

With this crazy season just a week after finals, here are five holiday hacks for college students:

Tip #1: Shop Black Friday Deals

The term “broke college student” never feels more real than when it comes to buying gifts for Christmas. The easiest way to avoid spending your student loans on gifts for your family is to shop early, and shop sales. There are also sales throughout the fall semester that are important to take advantage of. Also, the sooner you know what you’re going to buy, the more you can spread out your spending.

Tip #2: Know the Answers to Common Questions

The first time you go home, you will feel like a broken record, answering every question about school and friends over and over again. To relieve a little bit of major frustration from this, think of some of the answers ahead of time. This way, you have clear answers to all of the main questions instead of dragging on through boring conversations.

Tip #3: Canvas Free Christmas

As tempting as it is to spend your break stressing and planning for the next semester, make sure none of it seeps into your time on break. The whole point of winter break is to do just that: take a break! Spend time with family, sleep in, hang out with hometown friends. Whatever you do, don’t spend your entire break stressing about the semester to come.

Tip #4: Make your Christmas List

Since the beginning of my freshman year, I have had a running “wishlist” in my Google drive that I can share with my family members who are looking for gift ideas for me. Every time I see something I want or need that I cannot afford, I add it to my wishlist. This way, I’m being more financially smart during the school year, and Christmas gifts aren’t just random things that won’t help me survive the next semester.

Tip #5: Do All the “Kid” Stuff

Finally, take a little time to be a kid again. Bake cookies for Santa, make gingerbread houses, go look at Christmas lights, go ice skating, etc. Don’t let the stress of college and the upcoming semester cause you to miss out on all the things you love about the holiday season.

All in all, Christmas is supposed to be a time of celebration, not stress. With these five tips, I hope your college Christmas feels a little like you are seven years old again.

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