Whether you are a recent victim of the ‘turkey dump’ or you are just feeling down in the dumps because of the amount of food you consumed this past weekend, post-Thanksgiving is a tough time for the university student. A combination of holiday dread and midterm stress can leave even the most optimistic people feeling vulnerable and gloomy.
We just celebrated a holiday that is intended to remind us how fortunate we are, yet for some reason the focus seems to lean towards regrets and depression. Well it is time to flip that frown upside-down, because life is really good. Soon that delicious turkey dinner will become all but a delicious memory and the prospect of winter festivities will begin to quickly approach.
This year, when the religious celebration of your December begins to suffocate you with ‘holiday cheer,’ you are gong to be brave, optimistic and truly embrace the spirit of celebrations.
Now I know that this sounds very idealistic, and, to be completely honest, I don’t even know if I buy into it. But why can’t we accomplish this? The winter holidays are infamous for being the peak time for suicide rates. What is it that makes celebrations so dreadful?
Of course, there is family. A lot of people will probably shudder at reading the word. Now, I am not here to make assessments of your family. Perhaps your drunken uncle singing Katy Perry songs while your mother criticizes your posture and your cousins pull your hair does epitomize the worst family ever. However, the truth is they are your family and there is nothing you can do to change that.
Instead of fighting them, perhaps it is instead time to embrace them? They might be truly embarrassing, this I do not deny, but the next time you are surrounded by these supposed ‘loved ones’, it wouldn’t kill you to be a little cooperative. Maybe singing along to “Teenage Dream” won’t be all that unbearable.
Another holiday problem applies to those who, after all the guests have left, somehow end up immersed in a pile of chocolate crying to Titanic. I am talking about those who are currently single. Individuals who are not in a committed relationship are forced to endure all the holiday stress on their own. They do not have another to comfort them, and thus rely on Ben and Jerry to relieve their emotional build up.
This modern concept of dependence on another astounds me. I do not understand why our generation is one of the first to feel this intense need for companionship. Although I can’t explain it, I do believe anyone can challenge it. There are so many productive activities you can be doing instead of loathing in a pit of self-pity. I say, volunteer with the less fortunate, run a holiday marathon or just do something that will give you a sense of accomplishment. Maybe the warmth your heart will feel will melt away your need for ice cream and Leonardo DiCaprio.
It is true that these, in addition to many other aspects, can sometimes make the holiday season comparable to the joy of exams. However, at the end of the day, you do have the air in your lungs and you should be thankful for that. You do have the opportunity and devices to change the course of your life, from the typical discontent to one more enjoyable. So let’s get to it. Let’s make this holiday season a positive one.