In the thick of the holiday season that presents itself with many complicated feelings, everyone is rushing around looking for the next big deal and we’re panicking because we have to submit so many assignments in the next couple of weeks. Oftentimes we are told to just relax, It’s the holiday season, kick back with some eggnog and enjoy the snowflakes. Maybe for some people that’s true and this time of year is bliss, I think I envy those people.
Some of my friends are not going home for the holiday season because your definition of home isn’t what they would call it. Things can get so complicated especially if you’ve been away for so long, then you have to deal with the family dynamic. It can become really exhausting around a time that is supposed to be for relaxing, other animals go out and hibernate, I know that’s all I want to do. It takes the fun out of it having to plan everything, to make sure everyone’s schedule lines up, and mentally prepare for how things will go with relatives. It can be hard to leave your chosen family behind and trade it for blood relatives during winter break.
I have always had complicated feelings surrounding holidays. For awhile with Thanksgiving, it was always a debate about who I was going to see. I wouldn’t be able to see everyone, especially in such a short period of time. This whole thing usually ends up going somewhere along the lines of someone making you feel bad for not going to theirs or you end up regretting the decision you made. Sometimes this means setting boundaries by saying if I’m going to come to this event I will leave under certain circumstances, usually it’s just if someone’s being mean. I’m a pretty tough person, I can handle a lot of things, but everything is already so hard enough that I don’t need to be putting myself in a situation where someone will be unkind to me. You can only do that to yourself so many times before it hurts too much, then all those I’m Sorry or Good Deeds don’t seem to make up for the wrongdoings. Setting a boundary is one of the hardest and healthiest things that you can do, but it also hurts really bad at first. If you want to help others you cannot do it if you don’t feel safe or welcomed in an environment. It’s also a way to take care of yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else.
Thanksgiving break seems to be over before you even get to relax or catch up on any homework you were trying to catch up on. It feels like time accelerates immediately after you get back from break. I have been counting down the weeks until the end of the semester to calculate how much time I have left to complete everything. Also, it depends on how your professors are doing finals week, some of my professors are doing it where all of my assignments are due before finals week entirely. When I was in lower-level classes freshman and sophomore year I was thrilled by this revelation; it was literally like Christmas came early. Now when the classes are more complex everything seems to be down to the last minute, I never thought I’d want more school at the end of the semester. Lately, I’ve been wishing for the world to just stop moving so fast. If I could hit a big pause button but still keep doing everything that I need to do, and of course relax in between, it would make my life so much easier.
I do not have a magical stopwatch so time must go on. I find breaking things down into lists with deadlines can help. I learned a cool new thing where I can put a widget on my home screen that links to a note in my phone, this is now a task-keeping time saver. It has helped keep me aware of what I need to get done and it also helps prevent doom scrolling. Sometimes at the very end, all the anxiety in my body manages to do something where I get a ton of energy and can manage to do okay. I’m sure if I just didn’t procrastinate as much or put less on my plate I would be better off. I don’t try to procrastinate oftentimes I will pick at an assignment piece by piece and slowly get it done, but it takes me twice as long to do it. So for now I will try my best to get everything done, I might not get the best grades but I know I try my best.
Hope everyone gets some time to relax during and after finals week. This time of year can be very hard so be kind to yourself and others. Go outside and do something fun that you maybe haven’t done in a long time, exercise can help during these dark days. Finally, whatever family you get to spend time with I hope it makes you happy, we need more of that these days.