Facing Off with Post-Holiday Let Down


Post-holiday let down is real.  I am reading articles and blogs about the post-holiday blues that often hits college students, especially freshman.

  • Students will be heading back to anther semester without the high of an upcoming holiday season or newness of “firstness.”

  • Professors will be heading back to the challenge of teaching with enthusiasm and expected brilliance.

  • Parents will be heading back to another shot of empty nest.  Transitioning is happening.


Transition involves change; which feels uncomfortable.  Feeling uncomfortable is something that happens when one does something new, or at least not entirely familiar. Students probably spent their fall semesters or terms blasting through numerous transitions including

  • meeting new people

  • adapting to new classes and different geography

  • learning to live in intensely personal situations

  • being bombarded with peer influences from all sides,

  • and then returning to a home base a changed person to face their sleep deprivation and many questions about how it all went.


Luckily, this can be tempered by facts.

First step is to stop and take a breath – everyone. 

Next step is to write down all of the new people you met.  Marvel at this even if you just met them and no more.

Then, write down examples of what went right—not just in the classroom but everywhere.  Did you learn to wake up to your alarm? Did you ask someone to study with you?  Did you not call your child to ask them if they missed class?  Did you listen to a complaint but not jump in with a solution? Did you tell a student they had a good idea? 

Finally, plan to have a cup of coffee with your child, parent, or professor.  Ask them how the semester and holiday went, and really listen for 5 minutes. It could get emotional, but your job is only to listen.

And then, you can choose one or two things that didn’t go the way you wanted and make a plan to improve them.

Post-holiday let down is real, and you ARE going to move through it to a new year.