It’s that time of year again. The semester is winding down. Students are busy working on final projects, research papers, and all of the other end-of-the-semester obligations. Holiday decorations are starting to be displayed, Gingerbread Lattes are being sold at Java City, and Dean Ward’s office has been transformed into a Snow Globe! The reason why I am mentioning this is because the Holiday Season represents many things – one of which is the END-OF-THE-SEMESTER for students!
However, we must not forget that the day of giving Thanks has just passed us; we can still see it in our rear-view mirror. Yes, we may all be stressed as students; we may cringe at the thought of finals; we may be frustrated at the seemingly endless Holiday commercials on TV (if you have the time to watch or even afford TV); and we may even daydream about however many days we are able to have “off” over Winter Break (… I know I do). But we are entering the Season of joy, happiness, gratitude, and giving. While the unique climate of Williamsburg alters my internal Christmas Clock (I’m originally from New Jersey), I can start to see the Holiday cheer. On cold nights, there is a crisp feeling in the air. There is comfort in the small things during the Holiday Season that can push us through: the smiles on people’s faces, the thought of being re-united with our families and loved ones, being wrapped up in a blanket (possibly sipping on a cup of hot chocolate), and most of all, not forgetting– as much as it may be hard to do sometimes – to be thankful, appreciative, and mindful of what we have. Whether you are religious or not, being gracious towards other can go a long way. So, sometime before the end of the semester, I encourage you to take a minute out of your day and try and do something nice for someone. As future counselors, psychologists, teachers, education administrators, or others in the field of education, I think we can all say that at some point in our lives, a thoughtful gesture from a close friend or a stranger has made a significant impact in our lives. It is important not to underestimate the interconnectedness of all humans, and that a single smile can brighten one’s day. Let’s take a page from the book of Clark Griswold this year.
Happy Holidays to everyone and good luck on your finals!