The winter break, hit-up-your-high-school-fling, tried and true holiday hookup. If you are or ever have been, a college student who's single and home for a holiday break, you've definitely been there - or at the very least, considered it.

I'm right there with you. What else are we supposed to do for a full month? I can only take so much of my family before I go completely insane, and I doubt I'll be spending all day every day with the five friends from home I still keep in touch with.

Enter: The Holiday Hookup. Maybe it starts out as a super casual text or Snapchat, but don't act naive - you're both fully aware of where this is headed.

So how do you turn this inherently awkward, uncomfortable situation into something that will actually spice up your winter break? Here are the best tips and tricks I've collected from those who've been there, done that, and come out with their dignity relatively intact.

The most critical element of a successful holiday hookup is the mutual acknowledgment of what this is. It is not the beginning of a new relationship. It is not a chance to work things out with your ex. You both have to be aware of the unique nature of this hookup. It is time-constrained, stress-free, and commitment-free, whether it happens once or once a week until you both go back to the real world of college and work.

Holiday hookups exist within this very specific context of holiday vacation that returns you to a high-school mentality: you are living with your parents, in your childhood home, within spitting distance of the people you grew up with. It feels awkward and desperate and, dare I say, juvenile.

Bearing this in mind, learn from your high school mistakes (or successes) and don't be stupid enough to hook up with someone in your childhood bedroom with the doors unlocked. For goodness sake, you're an adult. Act like one, and if you can't wait for the house to be free, hop in the car and take it elsewhere.

Be prepared. Be safe. I'm not gonna explain this one, because I feel like if you can't figure it out on your own, maybe casual hookups shouldn't really be your priority. I've been on the receiving end of one too many panicked texts from a hometown girlfriend who got caught up in the moment and the ~memories~ and has only just snapped back to reality.

Lastly, know your prospects going into this. Is there one person you always say you're not going to hook up with - and then you end up at their place the Tuesday after Christmas? Is getting with an ex or an old crush going to end with you catching feelings even though you swore you were over it?

Know your limits and place your peace of mind and happiness before any other desires you might have. If it's gonna hurt you, it's not worth it.

Wishing you the gift of a stress-free, safe, and successful holiday hookup - Happy Holidays!