Appreciate your family during break but have options


Photo Illustration: David Derong/Iowa State Daily

Some students can look forward to the joys of the awkward family portrait when they return home for the holiday season.

Laura Bucklin

Students are counting down the days until winter break. It’s sometimes the highlight of the busy semester. It’s a time for free home-cooked meals, no homework and seeing your high school friends again.

What happens when your parents or siblings are back to their annoying antics? Next thing you know, your mom is calling you “poopy” in front of your friends and your brother is changing the channel from your favorite “Jersey Shore” re-run.

Winter Break is bittersweet until the reality sets in: You’re not on your own anymore!

There are many ways to get away during Winter Break. Below are five popular ideas from ISU students.

Tune them out with “me” time

Many students said they will spend a lot of time with their computer and iPod literally “tuning” their family out. After a whole semester away, it can get overwhelming to come back.

Alexia Angton, sophomore in criminal justice, said, “I like to spend time with [my family], but I make sure to have me time too.”

Some said they will be utilizing Skype and Facebook to keep in touch with ISU friends to help keep them sane. Others said playing “World of Warcraft” or other computer games will entertain them.

Whether you’re listening to “Jock Jams” on your iPod or dominating newbs on “WoW,” it is important to hide in your room for a bit to keep your sanity. And don’t feel guilty, we all do it.

Go on a vacation with friends

I know most college students are broke, but dig the coins out of your car seat and go somewhere fun with your friends.

Shawn McKenzie, junior in construction engineering, said he’s going to take a vacation with friends this winter. The group is planning on going skiing.

Others suggested a motorcycle trip or a long vacation.

If you don’t want to break your leg skiing and don’t own a bike, go on a road trip with friends or figure something out. It will be wonderful to get out of the house. You’ll be more excited to see your family upon your return.


Getting a job seems obvious, but some people don’t realize how refreshing it can be. First of all, you can pay your rent in January. Second, you can actually buy your family gifts.

Admit it, your mom gives gifts “from” you all the time, but you’ve never really seen them in your life.

Getting a job can help you become a “big” kid. Congratulations. It will also get you away from your family for a short period of time. Sometimes this is much needed.

“I get along with my parents pretty well, but I’ll be working seasonally at Ann Taylor Loft,” said Abigail Armstrong, junior in apparel merchandising and design. “So that will help me get out of the house.”

The mall is always looking for part-time help or temps for the holidays, so get out those letters of recommendation.

Spending Time with Friends

This seems obvious as well, but it can be awkward to call you best friend from your high school volleyball team you haven’t talked to in four months.

Don’t hesitate. I guarantee they want to hear from you too, and chances are their family has driven them up the wall as well.

Emily Bayliss is a senior in advertising. Therefore, she’s had experience with breaks. She said when her parents get overbearing she calls up her friends from back home.

Throw a holiday party, go to a movie, or just hangout in your old high school’s parking lot like the good old days — didn’t everyone do that. I promise, it will be worthwhile.

Go home, but not for too long

This one is pretty self explanatory, but it was one of the most popular answers believe it or not.

Many juniors and seniors admitted to only going home for two to three days to “deal” with their family.

If you’re that annoyed by your family I guess it’s worth it. Many of them had jobs, but said they didn’t mind coming back to Ames.

It is also important to remember to appreciate our families during break. They may irritate us on occasion, but we only get a limited time with them.

Matthew Ong, junior in economics and political science, keeps in touch with his family through Skype during break. His family lives 10,000 miles away.

Therefore, we must be thankful for the time we get together during break. Hopefully some of these tips will help you appreciate them as much as Alex Sveum, sophomore in anthropology.

“I don’t have to deal with family, they are a blessing.”