It’s Christmas Eve. Christmas tree fairies are smiling, lights are flashing and for the first time in years, it looks like a considerable number of us are going to see a white Christmas tomorrow. If the other Wessex Scene editors and third year Soton students are anything like me however, it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s time for Christmas yet. October seems like a lifetime ago, but equally, I don’t know anyone who can believe how quickly life can disappear in front of your eyes and two months can pass with nothing but a mad blur of articles, deadlines and draft dissertation chapters to show for your stress.
Today, my Mum got very upset with me for not spending enough time with her. I wonder if any of us have even realised the effect that our busy lives have on the people around us – the ones who love us too much to say that they want to spend more time with us, enjoy our company? My 21st birthday came and went last month and I had to turn down my boyfriend’s offer to take me to London for the weekend because I was “too busy”. Now, it’s Christmas eve morning and I’ve spent no time with my family, bought no presents and continued to stress and cry over my work, despite not even being anywhere near Uni or the Wessex Scene and what do I have to show for it? An upset Mum, a miffed boyfriend and a nasty cold…
The reason for this gratuitous ramble is hopefully to inject a bit of serious thought into your Christmas Eves. Life will disappear in front of you if you let it; the time you miss worrying and stressing, you can never get back. Although it’s sometimes hard to manage, thousands of students are feeling exactly the same way. Keep in mind this Christmas, your family, your friends, your dog or whatever it is that is truly important in your life. Give them the same amount of time and effort as you do for your degree, or for the extracurricular work you do for your CV. These are the people who will keep you sane, keep you happy, keep you from looking back and wondering why you let yourself get into such a stress and forget what was truly important.
Hopefully, this won’t ring true with most of the people who read this. Hopefully, everyone else with half a brain will know already that you can’t do everything and expect to stay healthy and enjoy life to the full. If you’re like me and perhaps not quite as sussed as all that, then I beg you, seek new challenges, experience exciting things, write for your student newspaper, but don’t forget what life is really about. Not about how well you do in class, not about how packed you can make your CV, but about being with the people you love and making sure they know how important they are. If you can’t do it on Christmas eve then when can you?