Home Alone: From solo cups to going solo this holiday season

One of my favorite holiday movies to this day remains “Home Alone.” There is something about having no one else in the house, putting up all the holiday decorations that are stuffed in the attic, walking around town donning scarves and mittens and, of course, dancing to blasted music in the bathroom.

Lila Baltaxe | Senior Graphic Artist

This year, we need to learn to embrace this a bit more. While family, friends and teachers prepared us for the high school to college transition, no one “warns” of the college to home transition –– moving from a fast-paced eventful lifestyle to a slower, more independent day-to-day at home. 

On campus, one spends the entire day surrounded by people. From waking up next to a roommate, showering in a communal space, eating in a packed dining hall and taking the trek on Commonwealth Avenue alongside fellow Terriers. There is never an absence of people.

Now, as I transition to the suburbs, I get excited by the slower world that awaits me, yet also realize that after a few weeks, I may be craving the energy of the city. Not having your friends on your dorm floor 24/7, a full dining hall or a whole city to explore can come as an understandable shock.

This holiday season, I challenge you to embrace being alone –– a winter ONEderland, if you will. 

Now this is not to say that the cute couple trends on Instagram and the plans with your home best friends cannot take place. Rather, simply set aside a little time to be still and find peace in the slow life.

There is an art to slow living: appreciating the little moments, the intentional habits and the moments you have to yourself.

This holiday season, that can look like making a cup of tea, taking a walk around your neighborhood, reading a book (for fun), making homemade holiday presents, or cooking up your favorite meal –– trading in the dining hall for a home-cooked platter.

Instagram feeds and TikTok pages are filled to the brim with winter bucket lists and seasonal activities, including, but not limited to, ice skating at a local rink, grabbing a cup of hot cocoa and watching Elf. You could even try baking gingerbread cookies while dancing to Mariah Carey! 

The entire month that we have off campus is a perfect time to take this necessary reset. Find strength in feeling grounded and be comfortable when not in big groups or constantly with another person. These are the moments that offer you the chance to learn more about yourself –– introspective “thinking” time, if you will.

The beginning months of college can feel overwhelming as a lot of time and energy is spent on academics, adjusting to a new routine and building social circles. We don’t prioritize time for ourselves.

Many students have shared that thoughts pile up from September, ones that are shoved to the back of their mind to allow them headspace to focus on the present moment. It is a natural thing to avoid the unpleasant thoughts or the tough questions we quietly ask ourselves. 

This winter break, bring a few of them to the surface.

So yes, a month at home, or wherever you may be headed, can seem like a big transition. It is. But embrace the slow life that awaits you. Take it as an opportunity to get a few things checked off your winter bucket list and a few thoughts off your mind.

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