It’s midnight on a Tuesday night, you’re sitting in the Iwasaki library struggling to finish uploading that video project to Median before you’re politely asked to leave as the library is closed. Surrounded by empty coffee cups, electronics chargers and old halloween candy you’re praying will help you power through, there’s no denying it: you are exhausted. With all the hustle and bustle, it’s so easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Somewhere between the stress of finals and end of semester projects in both classes and extracurriculars the true reason for the season tends to get lost. The world around us has officially entered full holiday mode, but we as college students with too much on our plates (unfortunately not Thanksgiving dinner this time) struggle to leave our stressed, distracted bubbles.
I can speak from personal experience and admit that my closest friends have sat in the library panicking to meet a deadline working in utter silence for what feels like days at a time only to have it hit us later that we’re about to go an entire month without seeing each other. The holidays are almost here (16 days until Christmas but who’s counting not me) and the spirit is in the air. This season is an opportunity to celebrate both the challenges we’ve overcome and the blessings we have been given over the past twelve months. This doesn’t have to be big things, either! Taking a study break to catch your favorite Christmas movie on Freeform’s 25 days of Christmas, looking out the window to enjoy the lights outside, or baking cookies with your friends in the Colonial kitchens are simple, fun ways to remind us of the bigger picture and the world around us.
Life isn’t perfect, the world is a scary place, and only seems to be getting scarier, so isn’t that all the more reason to reflect and appreciate the things that help get us through? While I’m not necessarily insisting everybody go around the dinner table and announce what they’re thankful for this year the holidays are an excellent time to check in with ourselves and gain perspective. Surrounded by the people we love the most without the distraction of the everyday, the bigger picture is so much clearer.
In just a few short days all my projects will be completed and presented. I will be home celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with the people I love the most, and even though it may not seem like it now things will be okay. The paper that put me to tears seems light-years away, and worrying about it at all seems foolish in hindsight. So to me fellow students stressing: the end of the semester is near, we’re almost there, and we can do this. It’s a wonderful life.