The Collegian
Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Decompressing from Thanksgiving

It's that time of year again. The holidays are around the corner, work has started to pile up just enough to ensure that you have a perpetual knot in your stomach and every single thing is starting to get on your nerves.

I don't know about you guys, but I certainly need a little breather from absolutely everything at this point. I'm so stressed by the thought of my monumental to-do-before-the-semester-ends list, that even things that don't usually bother me are driving me insane. It is possible that my phalanges are in danger of breakage because of the frustrated wall kicks and punches. Well, knowing me, they're probably more likely to be broken by aggressively reaching into a chip bag, but you get my gist. There is a lot of nervousness and frustration in the air.

And, although it is the shining light at the end of my academic and emotional tunnel right now, Thanksgiving break is such a tease. It's the fake break right before the real break where you think you'll get ahead on work but you never do. I always tell myself when I go home for Thanksgiving break that I am going to be so productive.

I imagine myself waking up early, brewing coffee in a coffee maker that actually works because it's better than the crappy one I bought at Target, going out for a morning run, coming home, sitting at the kitchen counter and really going to town on the zillion papers and tests that will inevitably greet me as soon as I get back to campus.

I promise myself every year that this is the year that I'm going to write at least one of my papers early. This is the year that I'm going to make the best study guides ever for my finals and I'm going to catch up on all the reading I couldn't do because I was too busy staying up all night writing those other papers and studying for those other tests and trying to get at least a few hours of sleep every night to avoid adding sickness to the list of crap to deal with in my life.

But let's be real. Every year, I don't get a thing done. I sleep until noon, I lounge on the couch all day and catch up with my mom, and then Saturday rolls around and I freak out about how I didn't get anything done.

Knowing that, instead of setting unrealistic expectations like I always do and then inevitably disappointing myself, I think that this year I'm just going to kick my work expectations in the tush. I'm going to let Thanksgiving break be an actual break and I'm not going to beat myself up about taking a few days of down time because lord knows we all deserve a few days to stop stressing.

I think that this year, especially as super- stressed-out seniors, we should take this little break to decompress and remember that there are more important things out there than the six-page paper you have due when you get back. Giving yourself a few days to relax, get some sleep and eat well isn't going to turn you into a jobless, homeless person. In fact, it'll probably help you do better on finals when you get back. So, this year I'm going to enjoy Thanksgiving, and I hope that you all do the same.

Thanksgiving is a time when it's totally acceptable to stuff our faces with calorie- laden holiday delights, laugh at our family members and let the triptophan lull us into an afternoon nap without a worry on our minds. I love everything about Thanksgiving. I love having the whole family together, I love watching my brother tell my mom that everything needs more cumin and sea salt, and it should come as no surprise to anyone that I love every single pumpkin-flavored dessert.

I love having to explain over and over to my relatives that, no, I don't know exactly what I want to do after college, and no, I still am not engaged to be married. There is something about the Thanksgiving routine that is amazingly comforting no matter how old you get. So let yourself soak up what you love about Thanksgiving before finals turn you into a moody, stressed, mush-brained zombie wandering around the library chugging coffee and dreaming of the day when you have time to sleep again?

I wish everyone the best of luck for the rest of the semester! Find your favorite study spot, load up on snacks and just do your best. It's a crappy time, but once it's over you have a whole month of freedom to enjoy.

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