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Timely Issues


December brings a mix of anxiety about finals and excitement about holidays and break. The combination of finals and upcoming holidays can induce stress as well, however. Students are torn between making plans for the break, preparing gifts for family and friends, and spending needed time to finish coursework and prepare for exams.

When exams are completed and students return home, they are likely to be exhausted. Many of you will find that your student spends a lot of time sleeping, particularly at the beginning of the break. All of this sleeping might conflict with family holiday schedules. Similar to a Thanksgiving visit, families should discuss expectations about winter break, but remember that students need time to relax and decompress after the semester.

Students are happy to be back home, but might find that they have slipped out of the family routine. Parents might not have noticed the subtle changes around the house and daily life, but your student will. Similarly, your student had a different routine at RIT, perhaps staying out late and eating at odd hours. Have discussions with your student about your expectations around household tasks, curfews, use of the car, and participation at meals and family activities.

Throughout the year, students miss the traditions and comforts of home. It might be difficult for your student to arrive home and find the entire house decorated and all holiday preparations complete. While you will want to get a head start, consider saving some of your student’s favorite traditions for when they complete finals and are home.

Student experiences:

  • Concerns about final exams and final grades
  • Anxiety about balancing finals and preparations for break
  • Excitement for their family’s traditional celebrations
  • Looking forward to seeing high school friends during break
  • Concern about not seeing campus friends over break