College Students and Holiday Traditions

Since Halloween is over, it’s obviously time for Christmas. Whether a person spends this time preparing their battle strategy for Black Friday, getting their house decorated in millions of lights or waiting to see if others will be angry about receiving a coffee cup this year, everyone has traditions associated with the season.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines tradition as “an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (such as a religious practice or a social custom).”

Most holiday traditions are centered around the family. However on a college campus, many of the students are living on their own for the first time. One might think that these young adults experiencing their first taste of independence from their family life would be inclined to ditch the traditions they grew up with in favor of doing their own thing.

So, do college students actually think it is important or even necessary to keep up holiday traditions while they’re away from home?  

Kimberly Hodson, a sophomore English education major from Kansas City, Missouri said, “SUU is so far away from home, I miss out on all the fun family traditions that take place on the weeks leading up to holidays … keeping holiday traditions with my roommates while I’m living here in Cedar makes it feel less lonely.”

This is also the case among older students.

“I definitely think it’s important to participate in holiday traditions even when away from home!”  Alicia Arredondo, a senior biology major from Nampa, Idaho, said. “It helps you stay connected with home and with family even if you can’t be with them.”  

Braydon Rawlings, a junior psychology major from Magna, Utah, said, “Being away from home is kind of a stressful thing and being able to still have that little piece of your family with you keeps you closely connected.”

This love for keeping up these traditions is not something shared by all SUU students. Some are of the opinion that time away from your family is time should be used to come up with and try out your own things.

Austin Bruckner, a senior geology major from Charlotte, North Carolina, said he finds it’s not as important to keep up holiday traditions in a university setting.

“I think that university is a place to try new things and come up with new traditions,” Bruckner said. “It keeps things fun by changing it up and not doing the same thing over and over. I think people do the same thing over and over because it gives comfort.”

If you or someone you know has strong thoughts on the holidays, send a Letter to the Editor.

Story By
Carlee Jo Blumenthal