5 Tips for Students Stranded at School Over the Holidays

Stranded for the holiday Stranded for the holiday It's tough moving away from home, usually for the first time, to attend college. To make matters worse, many students live on a shoestring budget. For some students, money is so tight that they can't even afford a plane or train ticket to travel home for the holidays, and not being able to enjoy the company of loved ones can turn what's normally the most joyful time of the year into a total downer. If you're a student in this situation, it's understandable that you might feel a little blue. But let's admit it: some students attend faraway colleges specifically to get away from their crazy families. If you're one of those people, you might very well be looking forward to spending your holiday alone on campus.

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Either way, with classes on break for the holidays and campus virtually deserted, you wonder how you're going to while away the hours until school starts again. You might think to yourself, "Will I be forced to spend the entire holiday alone in my dorm room, eating instant noodles and dying of boredom?" Nonsense!

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We've compiled a list of tips for college students who are spending their holidays at school instead of at home with their families. For those who are bummed after looking forward to spending holidays with loved ones, we've listed some ways to get out of the dorms, have fun, and make new friends. We've even listed a few holiday-centric solo activities for those of you who are looking forward to spending the holiday by yourself after craving a little peace and quiet all semester.

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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.

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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.

Use Technology

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!

Click Here for more things to do if you are stranded for the holiday!

-Jacky Speck, The Daily Meal