What can students do to help them get through the holiday season?
From worrying about how to afford gifts for your family and friend, to struggling to prepare a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast, the holidays can be very stressful to many students who are also dealing with school.
Planning your shopping ahead and finding the best deals can go a long way to keeping your wallet fatter.
Rebecca Mutschler, a general studies student working to obtain her Associates of Arts Oregon Transfer degree, suggests prioritizing your time and commitments. While she thinks plenty of time should be spent relaxing with your family, you should take time out of your day to plan meals and gift shop as early as possible.
It can be difficult to get the gifts you’re looking for during this time due to the influx of shoppers. A budget can be set ahead of time to furtherprepare for the holiday season and a list can keep track of what’s been spent to avoid overspending.
Expense tracker apps can help keep track of how much you spend. “Penny” is one such app that can help track expenses and is preferable for people who dislike charts, graphs, and tables. Even online shoppers may struggle with long shipping times during this time. Mutschler suggests using Amazon for online shopping due to the website’s convenience, and prevalence of good deals.
One tip she had for shopping for her family is choosing quality over quantity. “My method of shopping is buying a single gift for everyone that is meaningful and amazing,” she said. Mutschler also explained that “the times we will remember, this time of year, are the times wespend with our loved ones.”
Cherish Jackson, who is attending UCC to get her nursing degree, suggests going out to buy discounted food before Thanksgiving.
She likes to plan out her studying time more often, as she knows the holiday season is busy.
To prepare for the colder weather, Jackson advises buying discounted winter wear and getting your car ready for the cold.
You can find cheap clothing at places such as Goodwill, or find deals at Walmart.
To help prepare your car, antifreeze and an oil change will better your vehicle’s performance during the winter. Jackson mentioned how she gets up a bit earlier during the months in order to warm up her car.
Jackson also added that it’s good to take care of yourself since it’s flu-season. She suggests going to Rite-aid to get your flu shot, as it’s free with most insurances.
Jackson also added that she sends Christmas cards to family. Doing this early can help make sure loved ones get them in time.Some students may struggle emotionally more than others during the holiday season and will have to find other ways to celebrate the season.
Quentin Bingham, who is going to UCC to gain expertise in Spanish with a Foreign Languages degree to pursue his career as a translator, describes the holiday season as being difficult, and often doesn’t celebrate Christmas.
Yet, Bingham still enjoys the season by using it “as an excuse to be around people you want to be around.”
Bingham also describes the material aspect of the holidays as arbitrary. The real focus should primarily be on enjoying your time with your family and friends. For Thanksgiving he typically visits a friend’s house to hang out and eat, signifying the spirit of the holiday.
Proper planning can go a long way to help alleviate the stress that comes with the holiday season. Not all students can afford gifts for everyone and not every family can afford to celebrate the holidays.
For many, time with family and friends is all that matters this season.