Tension.  Pressure.  Stress.  Papers.  These are things graduate students learn to cope with and manage well through their studies.  However, going home for the holidays isn’t always easy.  Sometimes parents still see their children as actual children.  Sometimes relatives view graduate school as a way to avoid getting a job.  However, there are ways to deal with these situations – one way is to get some help from people who are well experienced in these situations.

“The disconnect with family…is not uncommon among graduate students home for the holidays or any other occasion, especially when they are first-generation graduate students or from a working-class background.”
Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 3 2012

It is not an easy task to explain complex research methodology to someone who isn’t well versed in whatever field a student is studying.  Debt is often a source of family anxiety.  Also, the nature of graduate school is difficult to understand for those who have never experienced it.

Grad students feeling different or alienated from family is common, but not easy.  With all the other pressures, sometimes it is nice to make a call, ask an expert, get a new perspective, and start feeling better.  The best part is that the expert help is FREE.  The National Graduate Student Crisis Line takes calls 24 hours a day at 1-800-GRAD-HLP (1-800-472-3457).

Don’t want to call?  Email jo@samaritans.org for some suggestions on coping with the chaos.  Want to talk, but don’t want to make the call?  You can chat with an online counselor at I’m Alive Online.

Holidays are often times of celebration, appreciation, and togetherness, but sometimes all that togetherness proves pretty tough.  The resources above are available because it is COMMON to have a difficult time getting through the holiday season. Especially if you have just spent a year in a completely novel environment that those you gather with don’t or won’t try and understand.  So now you know.  We’ve got your back, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.