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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Holidays brighten bleak end of semester

The great British philosopher and Nobel Prize winner Bertrand Russell once said, “”If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.”” The same can be said about all of us, and as an honorary pretend doctor, I recommend a long and restful winter break to everyone. The trick is getting there.

As summer fades to fall, there is an inherent sinking feeling within your chest that is, although lessened by the optimism and newness of a new academic year, increasingly evident as fall tightens its grip. Something uneasy faces all of us as the fall semester progresses, and often it is a feeling that is not easily describable or manifested in tangible ways. Yet if you are like me and many others, the fall semester is much bleaker than any other time of the year.

Make no mistake, summer is the ultimate end-all for college students. We look forward to summer year round, and when summer is over and the prospect of two semesters of school and cold weather confront us, bleakness ensues.

Now by no means do I intend to construe this time of the year as so dire, but sometimes the only thing standing between winter woefulness and us are the holidays. Perfectly timed, sequential and uniting, the holidays, although stressful in their own right, provide unmeasured happiness. Without such blessed relief from the monotony, fall would be downright dreadful.

I have often contemplated how appropriate and varied the major American holidays are within the framework of the fall season. Start first with Halloween, giving many of us college students the excuse to dress and act outrageously outside the normal standards of societal normalcy. The most rewarding moment this year was handing out candy to eager kids roaming the neighborhood.

Follow that with our recent weekend of Thanksgiving, which brings together an increasingly fleeting duo of joy: family and a home-cooked meal. There is nothing like four days of turkey, family and football to recharge those batteries and keep us chugging for the final push of the semester.

Navigate through finals in the upcoming weeks and its nothing but eggnog, ‘You’ll shoot your eye out!”” and visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads for the immediate future. The best part about winter break is the anticipation that this year will build upon the memories and nostalgia from all of the past good times. The holidays breathe optimism and excitement into the darkest hours, and bridge the gap between the monotonous schoolwork and the hope of springtime.

It’s the memories that fuel my love for the holidays. It’s watching “”A Christmas Story”” four times in one day. It’s building a Lincoln Log cabin with my brother and seeing all the relatives who only come around once a year. It’s the memories that keep us going, ever-hopeful through the long winter nights that this season will bring memories to cherish for a lifetime.

May your holidays be days to remember and bridges for us all over the depths of the winter abyss.

— Brett Haupt is a journalism junior. He can be reached at

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