Reflection: Stressful Holidays

Happy December, everyone! I hope everyone had a great month of November and is all relaxed and ready to take on the holiday season.


    There is so much stress around this time of year that I’m sure we can all relate to: finals if you’re in college, picking out the perfect gifts for friends and family, and perhaps dealing with some loneliness. All of these I completely understand.


    As I’m writing this, I just got back from class where I had to present a group presentation. One girl in my group was great. She came prepared and even went above and beyond the requirements of the project. But we were in a group with three other students, and they came less than prepared. During the whole presentation, I was beyond stressed out and so many thoughts went flying through my head. The biggest one, though, was why do these three kids get to decide my final grade in a class that I worked so hard in? The other girl in my group saw how upset I was over how it went and offered to help out more for the written part of the project. Honestly, her saying that made me feel so much better. Due to her kindness and offer, I instantly felt more at ease. 


    I know people say that grades aren’t everything, and don’t get me wrong, they aren’t, but I am allowed to be upset when something doesn’t go the way I hoped. So yes, you should study and study for the next couple of weeks if grades are a top priority to you. Just know that it will soon be over.


    Finding the perfect gift for friends and family can also be super stressful. I love my brother with all of my heart, but he is hands down the pickiest person I have ever shopped for and probably will ever shop for. It is so easy to stress about finding the “perfect present,” but I’ll tell you what: at the end of the day that doesn’t matter. I know it can seem hard the weeks leading up to the holidays as that stress hits, but I promise that whatever you get someone, they will love it because it came from a person they love.


    Loneliness. I don’t know about you, but I personally think that is the most daunting word in the English language. Then add the holiday season on top of that and it only gets about a thousand times worse. I mentioned in my Thanksgiving “Giving Thanks” post that I have gone through some pretty rough things the past couple of months. Unfortunately, that was my (long-distance) boyfriend breaking up with me back in October. At the time it seemed like the end of the world, especially with him being my first boyfriend. What did I do to drive him away? Was there anything I could have done to save our relationship? Those questions tore me apart for weeks. They were all I thought about from the moment I opened my eyes to the moment I closed them at night. I was upset, but I was also angry at myself for letting this affect me so much.


    Fast forward a couple of week and I felt better. I still felt a little empty inside, but I was doing much better. I was doing great until Thanksgiving came along. I was so excited to finally spend the holidays with a boyfriend, even if we did celebrate different holidays. 


    In an instant that was all taken away from me.


    The week of Thanksgiving was beyond hard. I felt the hurt and emptiness come over me all over again. And for the first time in my life, I actually felt lonely. I am used to being alone, because I enjoy being able to do stuff on my own terms, but that has never turned into loneliness. What is the solution for that feeling? Honestly, I have absolutely no idea. I just let it consume me. I let all my feelings come out all over again. Thankfully, I have a rock solid support system in my family who allowed me to take all the time I needed to feel whatever I needed to feel, and were there to pick me back up when I was ready.


    I know the holidays can be hard, but I promise we will get through them. They can bring out the best in people, but can also bring out our inner flaws. Just know that you’re not alone and whatever you’re feeling is 100% valid. I love you all and I hope you have a happy holiday season. 

Julianne D.