There is a ton of pressure surrounding the holidays when you’re a junior and senior, it seems. Pressure to make the most of the time with family and friends before the whirlwind of senior year or gradation, and all the experiences to come. But the holidays can lose a little bit of their sparkle when you feel pressure to succeed or make certain memories. Here are some ideas to make sure you savor the holidays, but don’t stress out:
-Stick to a budget. Many people overspend during the holidays, even racking up credit card bills that they cannot pay or even remember what they spent them on. Set a budget and stick to it, so that you have less stress going into your senior year or your first year at college. You’ll have enough expenses coming in, that you wont want to add to them with unnecessary credit card bills pouring in. Many family members will understand if you can’t afford enormous gifts this year, and will appreciate experiences like spending time together, instead.
-See the friends and family you want to: Make a priority of the people around you, rather than the things. Make time to see friends who are visiting from far away, or who you don’t see often. You’ll be in their position soon if you’re heading off to college, and you’ll want your friends to make time to see you when the roles are reversed. Grab brunch with people like your grandparents, and yes, acknowledge that your parents are really wanting to savor memories with you, too.
-Don’t neglect your homework. It’s tempting to let your assignments slide over winter vacation, but it’s quite important to stay on top of things. Don’t leave things for the last second or ignore them, because it’s important to keep your grades up through your whole senior year. Some scholarships and applications hinge on you making great grades ALL the way through, and not falling below a certain grade point average even in the last few months. Place reminders in your phone to remember the important assignments, and make sure you allow time to get them done.
-Express gratitude: While its easy to get caught up in the things you have to or want to do, be sure to say thank you to the people around you for helping you get through high school, especially your parents or guardians. Saying thank you is important, and gratitude has been shown to relieve stress in general.
One thing that you can tangibly do during the holiday season, is stop and appreciate the people around you. Make the memories and exchange the gifts, but most of all, be fully present as your high school years draw to a close. Time moves quickly, and you won’t get it back!