Every September, there’s a special buzz in the air. College is starting. The ghost towns of summer transform overnight as tens of thousands of college students pack the dorms, streets, and every inch of space. September is all hustle and bustle.

And then comes November. As Halloween innocently comes and goes, it beckons in the new holiday season. The buzz of school is replaced with a longing for the holiday familiarity: home-cooked meals, the bed you grew up in, and the absence of final exams. If you’re a college student who resonates with any of these feelings, don’t get ahead of yourself! November has just begun, and Christmas vacation is still a ways away.

Tis the season to turn friends into family and learn to make college your home away from home.

1. Change Your Attitude

Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family,
and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you—
better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.

Proverbs 27:10

Family is more than blood. It can be your friend who lives across the hall, or your neighbor down the street. Family is the attitude we have. Do you have any friends who feel like family? It can just a moment to pray and reflect on the friends you have and to decide that you want them to be part of your family. Once you change your attitude about a friend, you will change the way you see and value the relationship. No one should spend the holidays feeling alone, especially when you might have more family nearby than you might have realized.

2. Let Them In

We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.

2 Corinthians 6:11-13

Part of why we feel so connected to our families is that when you live together, you end up going through so many things in life together. Ups, downs, struggles, and triumphs. It’s a journey together. In every family, there are always challenges that you bring you together. Sometimes you end up sharing more of your heart than you may have wanted to. But that’s what brings you together. In college, I think we can want people to like us so much that we don’t always end up opening our hearts and sharing what we really feel, think, and experience. Decide to let people in to parts of your life you usually keep hidden and you’ll see you friends start to turn into family.

3. Make Memories Together

Holidays are a fun time to break the routine and do something different. Have your own Thanksgiving dinner with some friends. Go to Starbucks with a friend for Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Go iceskating. This is the perfect season to make memories, and memories make family.

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