Home for the holidays


Katy Babcock

Winter break is a time of relaxation for exhausted college students.

Katy Babcock, Copy Editor

For some college students, winter break is a time of respite from campus life. Others brace themselves for the return home. But like for most things, there are advantages and disadvantages to coming home for the holidays. 

The tension between home and college life is especially felt by new college students. 

After being thrust into a new parentless community, students soon acclimate to the freedom of college. No longer under their parent’s roof, students find themselves in charge of everything they do, what they eat, how much they sleep and who they spend time with. 

That, of course, stops when they return home for winter break. 

Suddenly, they are transported from their dorm room to their childhood home. Though the time home brings chaos as well as comfort; every college student feels differently about the three weeks spent back home. 

Katy Babcock

PV graduate Ella Howell is currently a sophomore at Illinois State University. She thinks winter break is like a trade off between the best and worst parts of being at college and at home. “The peace, relaxation and lack of research papers come at the cost of less independence and the absence of the best friends you’ve made on campus,” shared Howell. 

For recent PV graduate and Iowa State freshman Nali Sanchez Carmona leaving campus isn’t a sacrifice at all. Like Howell, she appreciates the peaceful interlude that is winter break. “When I live on campus, I associate that life with studying and working constantly. However, when I come back home, I now associate that place with resting,” said Carmona.

Seemingly endless work days at school can become lonely too. More than half of Gen Z college students feel lonely at college. Aside from sleeping in, college students tend to miss their siblings, parents, old friends, and pets while away. And making new friends on campus isn’t always a fair substitute for family ties.

The happy reunion of family and friends is one of the best parts of winter break; but it’s bittersweet for college students to see all that they’ve missed while away. “It’s also extremely hard watching my little siblings grow up without me. Sometimes it makes me feel like I am missing out in their life and I am being left behind,” Carmona admitted. 

Winter break can be an emotional experience for college students. The reminders of high school life constantly nag at them while they watch siblings grow up without them. Family members should be mindful of this during the holiday season.