Don’t let college ruin your holidays

Lizy Stubbs, Opinions Editor

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It consumes your mind. You lay in bed when you’re supposed to be asleep and don’t even bother watching Netflix.

You toss. You turn.  And you can’t stop thinking about the same resonating thought.

No, sugar plums aren’t dancing in your head. And the all-consuming thoughts aren’t based on St. Nick coming the next day.

Your greatest nightmare, the one that keeps you awake all night, is the College Monster.

This monster lurks around through the daylight hours, following you around until you get semi-comfortable and start to forget about it’s existence.

And then, as your mind begins to wander from the math or English problem at hand, you suddenly are overwhelmed by a sense of panic and paralyzing fear. “You’re not getting into any of your top schools. Your interview went terribly. Your entire future is based on your ability to answer this prompt in 100 words and you current draft is terrible.”

How do you deal with this creeping monster who cannot be killed? Over winter break, there is only one thing to do: Tame the College Monster.

I don’t know what idiot decided that some Early Decision and Early Action results would come out on December 24th because that is the surest way to ruin Christmas. This date snafu is only fuel for the college monster’s fire. If your parents are also off from work, then break might consist of completing the FAFSA or CSS profile, another stressful endeavor. The monster loves this activity as well. The trick begins in not letting either of these things consume the holidays.

  1. Part of that is time management. Yeah, if you have 10 schools to apply to, 14 supplemental essays, and you still haven’t sent your SAT scores, your holiday break may be more work than play. But if you’ve put in at least SOME work, your holidays can be a time of joy and spirit as well. Be timely and efficient with all your deadlines
  2.  Forget about the colleges you’ve already applied to. I know it’s easier said than done, but fretting about acceptances and rushing to the mailbox daily doesn’t do anything. You’re gonna give yourself heart palpitations over something out of your control.
  3.   Make sure to give time to your family. It’s easy to snap at your parents when they want to go decorate the tree and you still have a few essays to draft, but I assure you that the work will get done. And if you’ve spent 4 hours on essays, you should probably take a break before you hit submit anyways.
  4. Also, don’t kill family members that dare to bring up the institutions who rejected you (or places you still haven’t heard back from). These well- meaning relatives are somewhat annoying, but they have the best of intentions. At every family gathering, tons of people are going to ask about your future plans. This is a fact of senior year. When this happens, as it inevitably will, just smile and wave, boys, smile and wave.

Overall, the taming of the college monster is really up to you. Don’t be afraid to take the holidays as a time to relax from college. You’re about to be a second semester senior, and it’s your last holiday season living at home. Enjoy it.

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