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What To Do When Spending The Holidays In Your Childhood Home

For many of us students, the second final exams are done, essays are put in dropboxes, and all of our laundry (that has been building up for all of December) is packed, we are headed home. Coming off of the most challenging finals season yet, I strongly believe all students deserve the most care- and stress-free break there is. Now thanks to a later Winter 2021 semester start, we might actually be able to achieve this - so, thanks UW! [bf_image id="qqs8hwt5q7nsh5hr5hc5t9p"]

Truthfully, my bedroom at home looks like a sad Airbnb with just the basics - a bed, a dresser, a vanity, and an empty closet - but I am still excited to be back. I have essentially moved my entire life (and closet) to Waterloo to be a full-time student and part-time worker so what little remains in that room is definitely stuff I have long since forgotten - aka my prom dress. So for me, coming home requires a little more packing and preparation. With an extended stay at my parents' house like this, I can’t ride on my computer and some old “Pretty Little Liars” books alone as my only source of entertainment for the next few weeks. 

While the pandemic has surely restricted travel plans and made visiting family and friends more difficult this year, I do hope that however you are spending your Winter break, you find time to connect with others. If it is safe for you to travel home for a little R&R and you will be crashing in your old childhood bedroom, here are some tips about how to stay busy! 


Puzzles and boardgames!

I will admit to succumbing to the first quarantine craze of puzzle-ing and got two 1500-piece challengers… and never did them. I watched as my mom spent her lunch breaks hunched over our dining room table until she finally completed the picturesque scenes of Italy. So I will definitely be bringing back these puzzles as a way to make sure my brain doesn’t turn to complete mush in the few weeks off from school.

Like puzzles, board games are also a great way to stay occupied and hang out with family. If you watched “The Queen’s Gambit” and haven’t considered taking up chess, I do not believe you one bit. I doubt Beth Harmon would consider chess a “board game,” but perhaps you can spend this time learning to play at a more leisurely pace than this Netflix-original star and her dangerous habits. Check out virtual game sites like scribbl to play with friends and family online!

Re-organize your closet and donate!

While there are very few items hanging in my closet at home, this is in part because I cleaned out all my summer clothes and old fall and winter garb that I knew I wouldn’t be wearing this season - or ever again. There is no better time to donate than the holiday season - someone could really benefit from your warm clothes this winter.


Now is a great time to fall back into those 6th grade behaviours of staying up all night binging dystopian series because, well you can, and you probably still have “The Hunger Games” series in your basement somewhere. 

If you have a library card somewhere at the bottom of your purse, dig it out and see if your branch has an online platform. I’m telling you, it is so much easier to take out the max amount of books online without the embarrassment of carrying 10 of them in your hands and stumbling out the door.

Become a chef!

No school? Sounds like the optimal time to experiment with a more diverse pantry and find new recipes to bring back to school in the New Year. If they are a success, just go ahead and steal the ingredients too - I’m sure Mom and Dad won’t mind.

Have an existential crisis?

As this is my last holiday season as a student, I’m finding it very strange to imagine where I will be next year. In grad school? Living in my childhood bedroom? Married? Just joking on that last one, obviously. But still - I am sure many students will be deep in their feelings about what is going to happen in the New Year. Dim the lights, blast the indie music, and use this time to just reflect - or freak out?!

Happy Holiday’s Warriors! From my lime-green-painted, floral-bed-sheet-decorated childhood bedroom to yours - I hope you all have a relaxing Winter break and find some time to chill after finals. You deserve it! 

Hey - I'm Vanessa Geitz, a fourth-year Public Health student at the University of Waterloo. I am currently the President and Campus Correspondent for HC Waterloo and love writing articles! Also a big fan of the Bachelor, BBT, and books. 
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