December: A Month of Mixed Emotions

Dear First Year Students,

Happy Holidays! December can bring with it a lot of mixed emotions. There is the excitement of the winter holidays approaching, but there is also the anxiety of finals that comes along with it. There are the positive feelings of being able to see family and hometown friends soon, but there is also the concern that things may or may not be the same when you arrive home for winter break. During your time at home you may have to deal with adjusting to old rules and routines that you haven’t had while living independently. Making those adjustments may potentially cause conflict with your parents or family. Navigating all of these feelings can be stressful, but rest assured that it is very normal to feel this way as the end of the semester approaches.

As December approaches students tend to experience increased excitement for the winter holidays and all of the events that come with it. Tuscaloosa is especially beautiful when it is decorated in Christmas décor. Although the week of finals takes place during this time in the semester, December was still a very enjoyable time for me during my freshman year. For example, I loved getting to go down to the Riverwalk to look at all of the gorgeous Christmas trees along the path. Enjoying this with friends is a great way to wrap up your first semester of college and to get in the holiday spirit. Also, December is a wonderful time to grab some friends and go to Starbucks to try some of their delicious holiday drinks. I personally enjoy the Pumpkin Spice Latte, but there are plenty of other options available as well!

Many students find that December brings with it the excitement of being able to go home to see family and friends that they haven’t seen in a long time. During your winter break you may find that you and your friends from home have drifted apart after having little communication during the past few months. Also, you may find out that you and your friends have less in common than y’all used to since you are having vastly different experiences and learning new things about yourselves. What I did to alleviate this issue is that I made sure to make time to spend with my childhood friends to hear about how their college experiences have been going. When I made the time to see my childhood friends, it made all the difference and it allowed us to reconnect after having a long semester away from each other.

The other issue that many students experience is settling into old routines and rules that they are not used to anymore. Many students find that it is more difficult than they expected to deal with curfews that weren’t present when they were at school and making sure that their room is spotless at all times. Oftentimes you may feel the need to snap back at your parents or siblings for forcing you to readjust to living at home, but try to remember that although you are an adult, you are still living under your parents’ roof and should try to make the winter break as peaceful as possible.

Always remember that even if you didn’t do as well as you thought you would on your finals, this is your first semester of college, and you will get better at your studying skills in the future! Don’t forget to enjoy your time at home and appreciate your family and friends. Make sure to maintain those relationships with them because you will need that solid support system when you return to campus in January.

Happy Holidays and Roll Tide,

Caroline Harris

Contributor for Tuscaloosa Community