9 Holiday Tips for Stranded Students (Slideshow)
September 20, 2013
You don’t have to have a horrible holiday just because you can’t make it home!
Try Cooking for One
If you are the only person stuck on campus this holiday, you can still enjoy your favorite dishes if you roll up your sleeves and make them yourself. If you’ve never cooked before, don’t worry: you can follow along with our recipes for any holiday. Scale the recipes down where applicable to cook them for one.
Crash a Local Friend’s Holiday
Sure, maybe your family is too far away to travel to, but maybe some of your friends’ families live closer to your college and wouldn’t mind some extra company over the holidays. Just be sure you are a thoughtful guest and inquire about what you can bring to help out!
Decorate Your Dorm Room.
Just because you have limited space doesn’t mean you can’t make it feel festive! Splurge on table linens or shiny garlands, hang some holiday-centric signage, and put up twinkly lights to set the mood.
Check Out Local Festivities
From big cities to small towns, lots of places have their own local traditions, holiday parades being just one example. Take advantage of spending the holidays in your college town by experiencing some of the local traditions you’d normally miss by going home.
Take the opportunity to give back to your college’s surrounding community by volunteering at a soup kitchen or food bank. Besides brightening someone else’s day, helping others is a great way to make yourself feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Host a Holiday Potluck
Surely you’re not the only person stuck on campus? Commiserate with fellow holiday refugees by hosting a potluck! Each guest can bring a favorite holiday dish from home. If you are worried about space, you could do an appetizer potluck instead.
Use Social Media
Local online communities, like Reddit’s /r/Philadelphia or /r/SanFrancisco, can be great for organizing "meet-ups," in which folks who have never met in real life gather to share common interests. When you’re spending a holiday alone, these meet-ups can be a great way to make new friends. Most meet-ups take place in public places like bars and restaurants so you can enjoy a nice meal out. Of course we have to note that you should always exercise caution when arranging to meet strangers online. Lots of businesses use Twitter to keep customers informed, and occasionally they organize via hash tags to advertise that they’re open for the holidays. The #OpenInPhilly and #OpenInNJ hash tags are just two examples you can search if you’re looking for a bar or restaurant that’s currently open.
One of the best parts of college is free Wi-Fi, right? Use it to set up a Skype call or Google Hangout and video chat with your loved ones at home. Treat yourself to a great takeout dinner and eat with them via Skype — they will appreciate the effort and you will feel more included.
Binge on TV
Virtually every long-running television series includes a holiday special or two, and they’re usually re-run during the holidays. Plus, many channels air your favorite holiday movies or they can be found on streaming sites. Order your favorite takeout and have a total holiday veg day!