You Asked! Surviving Christmas Break

You Asked! is the column where the Center for Healthy Relationships (CHR) answers. Please send your questions to or text 479-308-8508

Q: Two months Christmas break! Hooray! Two months back with my family… Hooray?

We’re not sure if a two-month break between semesters is a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, you’ve got plenty of time to go places and see things. On the other hand, so many things are closed due to the pandemic. You would be excused for thinking, “I’m going to lose my mind stuck at home with my family for two months!”

To succeed with this year’s academic calendar, keep the following ideas in mind.

1. Give grace to yourself and to others.

This is not a normal time, and none of us have social scripts to navigate it. We’re all making it up as we go. Don’t chastise yourself for feeling stressed. That’s a normal reaction. Also, don’t overreact to what parents or family might say or do. You’re all in this together.

2. Communicate often and well. Talk with members of your family.

Ask them what they’re thinking and share what you’re thinking. Don’t assume that either of you knows what the other is going through. Listen to understand their experience, rather than challenge it. Try to express yourself in ways that make sense to them. You’ve been on campus for 15 weeks and, to some extent, you all have to get to know one another again.

3. Stay in contact with campus friends

There are so many ways you can stay connected with friends and classmates. Check in with your roommate. Offer support to friends. Follow TheCHR_JBU on Instagram (shameless plug, we know.) You’ll have to be intentional about this, because it’s more work than connecting with others in the dining tents. But be responsible, and don’t let your digital connections interfere with your in-person ones.

4. Be open with your parents about “J-term.”

If you’re taking a class in January, it’s a great opportunity to show your family how much work you actually do in your classes. They’ll have an opportunity to see you committed and dedicated to doing well which can go a long way to help them worry less. And we all know, less-worried parents are easier to live with.

5. Pray for JBU. Faculty and staff have been working extremely hard over the last year.

The JBU at Home summer classes program was a major effort. Adding a four-week term in January is no small thing, either. They’ve been doing a lot to help university administration keep campus open for you. So, remember them when you pray, because they’d be blessed by it.

FYI: We’ve been cleared to have askCHR sessions in person in the CHR Offices. So, if you’d prefer to meet in person rather than Zoom over dodgy WiFi, we can do that – with all appropriate social-distancing guidelines in place.


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