The Christmas break is fast-approaching and while many students will be heading home for the holidays, some of us end up sticking around. So whether it be the summer break or the Christmas one. This advice will tell you how to have a positive attitude when you’re left home alone and fending for yourself. At this point I feel its important to give a bit of background on my personal situation. I have lived in Lincoln for over three years now and during this time, I usually end up spending the most of the summer here each year. This is because I don’t get much personal space at home and I like the freedom of being independent. However, it comes at a cost. For most of the year Lincoln is bubbling with students and its feel like we’re really part of a community. Whether you like your housemates or loathe them, the sound of other people bustling about the house and the freedom to go meet up with friends at almost any hour of the day is a big help. When the holidays hit, a lot of this disappears. The streets are emptier, the halls of your house don’t carry the sounds of arguments nor laughter – generally it can feel very quiet. Now, you can look at this both positively and negatively and both of those views would be correct. On the positive hand, you alone, now have the freedom to roam your house and keep it as clean as you like. No more tidying up after messy housemates (or if you are the messy housemate, no more getting shouted at). You have a lot of free time to crack on with your work or any hobbies or perhaps just binge your favourite TV shows in the living room uninterrupted. On the negative side of things, you now might not have much reason to leave the house, which can very quickly start to make you a little stir crazy, even if you don’t notice it. You may feel scared of being alone at night or you may even just be sad that you have nobody to talk to. However, its not as bad as it seems, I have felt all, sometimes even a combination of those feelings during my long-stays over summer but they can all be combated, if you just take a moment to acknowledge the feelings and act in ways to challenge them. Here are my top tips to get past any concerns you are having. Keep Perspective This situation is temporary. You are not alone forever just because your friends aren’t here for a few weeks. If it feels like that, drop them a phone call or perhaps just a text saying how you’re a bit lonely. I’m sure someone’s going to be free to keep you entertained for a few hours. Leave the House Just because you have may have no real reason to leave the house (apart from perhaps work) doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Take yourself on dates for coffee or for food, it will do you the world of good. Spend Time in the House Doing Things You Enjoy The best thing about having free time over the break is you can spend it how you like. So make the most of that, dedicate a whole day to redecorating your room how you want it, or digging into a book you’ve been meaning to read. Or perhaps even get ahead on your deadlines. Free time is blessing, use it well. A Special Word for Those Staying Over Christmas I have no experience with being here for Christmas day and I imagine that is a daunting challenge in itself, perhaps you’re working or just don’t fancy heading home. Take on all the advice I’ve given above but also don’t be afraid to reach out to friends or staff to ask for advice. If you work, try to organise Christmas plans with your colleagues who are also around. If not, try to find ways to get in contact with those people who are closest to you, nobody’s going to hold it against you for wanting a chat on Christmas day, that’s what its all about.