The holiday season has arrived *cue Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C Minor*.  

In college, the holidays can be hard to navigate. On one hand, you’re super excited to go home, be with family and have a much deserved break from school. But on the other hand, you have five days off for Thanksgiving, two weeks + finals week back at Gannon, and then almost a month off again. The chaos of break, school, break can be stressful for many, especially with a few major holidays mixed in there, along with… finals! 

Not to mention, it can be hard adjusting from your college routine to your back home routine— living with your family again, being back in your hometown and spending a month away from your Gannon friends. Or, in some instances, going home for the holidays may not be an option. Whatever the case may be, we have all had to deal with the joys and sorrows of the holiday season. The good news is: the holiday season is only for a short time, Winter Break is really only three weeks long and before you know it, you’ll be back on campus living your best Golden Knight life! Until then, here are some holiday hints to ensure your breaks are smooth like the frosting on a Christmas cookie! 

Dealing with Holiday Stress: 

There is no doubt that the holiday season is stressful, especially for college students. Leaving the place you call home for eight months of the year to go back to the place you called home for eighteen(ish) years is tougher than you may think. The pace of life, as well as the way of living may be different and it’s important to recognize these changes. You may see family members you haven’t seen in a while, you may be expected to do different tasks per your parents’ request and you may start to find yourself losing  energy. If you find stress seizing your holiday joy, try some of these suggestions to help get your mind back in the holiday spirit! 

There are also a number of activities you can do to help relieve some stress: 

  • Release some endorphins!  

Go for a walk, run, or even maybe some yoga to help ease the mind. 

  • Coloring!  

I’m sure in your childhood bedroom, you can find an old coloring book. Even though it may be Hello Kitty, or dinosaurs, it will still get the job done! 

  • Try a new hobby! 

No school work during break? I wish! Though you may still have some work to do over the breaks, this is a perfect time to pick up a new hobby. Some ideas are: 

  • Baking 
  • Cooking 
  • Rollerblading 
  • Drawing 
  • Knitting 
  • Crocheting 
  • Photography 
  • Organizing! 

This stress relief activity doesn’t sound as fun as exercising, coloring or trying out a new hobby, but it can be very beneficial to improving your mental health. Going through items you may not use anymore and possibly donating old clothes, toys or items is like starting fresh. Plus, giving back to a community can make you feel good about yourself! 

  • Self-Care! 

When you hear the words “self-care,” you may immediately think of face masks, painting your nails, etc. But, self-care is so much more than taking care of your appearance. Self-care is all about taking care of yourSELF! Maybe to you, self-care looks like going out and indulging in some fun foods. Or, maybe your form of self-care is getting cozy and watching a movie. Find something that makes you happy and do it! 

Remember, if you find yourself dwelling in too much stress this holiday season, TimelyCare is still available! 

Spending the Holidays on Campus 

If you are staying on campus this holiday season, and are worried about missing out on the festivities— don’t worry! There are still a lot of fun, festive activities to do around Erie.  

  • Festival of Trees— November 24-26 at the Bayfront Convention Center 
  • Victorian Holidays at Hagen History Center — November 30 
  • Light up AJ’s Way— December 1 at Gannon 
  • Downtown d’Lights— December 1 at Perry Square 
  • Presque Isle Lights— Friday-Sunday 6-9pm starting December 1st 
  • Winter Wonderland at Asbury Woods— every night in December starting the 1st 
  • The Erie Philharmonic: Come Home for the Holidays— December 2-3 8pm
    • Gannon students can get Erie Philharmonic tickets for FREE! 
  • For more events, head to 

Focusing on the Good this Holiday Season 

Although the holidays can be stressful, there is so much to look forward to as well. Some delicious food, quality time, and the great feeling of being done (or almost done) with another semester. Use your break time to practice some self-care/stress relief tips that will benefit you in the future. Use this time away from Gannon to reflect and grow, so you can return in the spring ready for another great semester!  

Happy holidays, Knights!