Hi there! I'm Izabela, and I'm a 3-year International Tourism Management student from Poland. I'm passionate about travelling and all things around social media, including blogging!
Whilst Christmas is usually portrayed as the perfect occasion to be with family and loved ones, many people spend it on their own. Whether it’s by choice or due to some personal circumstances, it’s absolutely okay to not go home for Christmas! In fact, as an international student from Poland, I spent the past 2 years away from my family during Christmas because of work commitments and I hope this article will give you a sense of comfort if you find yourself in a similar situation.
You don’t have to follow the “rules”
Society puts a lot of pressure on us in terms of how the holidays should look like. We’re expected to be happy, buy gifts for everyone, cook a lot of food, and spend all this time together with our family. But the truth is that Christmas can be difficult, and you might not be in the best mood to celebrate. You might even find the festive time detrimental to your mental health.
Christmas can be stressful for many different reasons and according to Mind (mental health charity), here are the most common ones:
Christmas can cause a lot of anxiety regarding money. The festive time can be extremely expensive because it comes with a lot of additional spendings such as presents, food, and transport. This can be especially hard now during the cost-of-living crisis when many people struggle to afford their basic expenses such as heating. Therefore, it’s absolutely understandable if you feel like you’d rather stay home and save your budget for more urgent expenses. If you need any support in this matter, the University of Lincoln has developed a cost-of-living support hub where you can access all the help available.
In an ideal world, home is a place where we feel safe and understood but unfortunately, this is not always the case. You might not want to go home for Christmas if your relationships with relatives are difficult. Instead of possibly arguing with them and dealing with negative emotions, it’d be better for you to stay away and not engage in unnecessary conflicts.
Personally, I didn’t go home for Christmas because of practical issues. As a care home worker, I wasn’t allowed to take holidays during the festive time. Luckily, my housemate stayed with me so I wasn’t completely alone – but if all your friends will be gone during Christmas time, why not download the Umii app which is all about meeting other students? You can meet and even organise a Christmas Dinner together! There are always many people staying on campus at the festive time so you don’t have to be alone!
Remember that you have a choice in how you want to spend your time.
Maybe your family will be disappointed, but you’re an adult with the right to make your own decisions. Christmas is supposed to be about celebration and if you feel like the only way you can celebrate is by staying away from home – do it!