IT”S ALMOST CHRISTMAS TIME!!!!! And that’s the one thing that empowers college students to get through the end of their classes before we head into finals week. I’ve been so excited that decorated my room with a tiny tree, some window stickers, and an advent wreath as soon as I got back from Thanksgiving break. Although some kids use this time of the year as an excuse to binge watch Christmas movies all day and avoid studying for finals, I prefer to partake in the fun little opportunities that the college provides as study breaks that fit in with the holiday season.
My holiday fun started off last Friday with the holiday party for QUEST, the orientation and leadership program that I took part in this summer. It was really fun to dress up and meet up with my group over a catered dinner. We made holiday cards for soldiers overseas as our service project for the event. I also won the “Most Festive Outfit” award for my penguin Christmas sweater, green pants, reindeer socks, and tissue paper hat (made from my gift exchange present). Sadly, I could not eat any of the things I received as my prize, so I distributed my fancy chocolates and popcorn to my friends who could enjoy it safely. At the end of this event, there was an open mic and so my friend Sarah and I played some violin duets from my Christmas books that I brought from home. It was such a great time. Later that night, a few of my friends on my floor decorated a gingerbread house that I brought from home and decorated a wreath for our door. This is the first time in years that I was able to find a safe gingerbread house kit at a store so it was really strange to me that I was able to eat everything. We watched some high-quality Christmas movies on YouTube and kept the mood exciting. It was fun to de-stress and chat with my friends as we ate the gingerbread house.
During the weekend, I had the “Christmas Choral Celebration” with my University Concert Choir. This performance included three of the University’s choirs and the three children’s choirs associated with the university. As someone who sang in a children’s choir for ten years, getting to hear the kids sing made it truly feel like home. The music building has been decked out with paper snowflakes and twinkling lights ever since thanksgiving break, and these decorations helped to make it even more homey there. My parents came up for the Sunday afternoon performance and took me out to dinner afterwards, which provided a really nice break from the dining hall foods. My parents even brought me some snacks and treats to share with my friends during these last weeks of class and finals (thanks Mom and Dad!).
The holiday festivities continued with the annual gingerbread house decorating contest in the Symphony Orchestra. After the last rehearsal of the semester, the orchestra kids all stay for 45 minutes to create the most exciting gingerbread house from a kit with their section. We had 25 minutes to decorate using the materials in the kit and anything edible that we had in our dorms- I brought some skittles, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. In the end, we had to present our creation to the judges (our two directors) and the winning house would be displayed in the music office until the end of finals week. Sadly, our #2 themed 2nd violin house came in 5th place, but there were a bunch of really creative things in other sections. The violas dissembled their house and made it into Noah’s ark with animal crackers and blue icing as the flood. The cellos made a Game of Thrones themed house. But the winner was the brass section with the Strauss Haus (we were playing a whole section of Strauss marches and waltzes… I think they went the lame route to appease the judges). But alas, I couldn’t stay and be festive for too long during this or the other week nights because I had several group projects (like my final lab report) and my 10-page research paper for English.
Now that I am done with my school work, I have just a little more time to be festive as the studying gets more intense. Tonight, I am going to the Catholic Campus Ministry’s Christmas party, so that’s bound to be a great time. And then tomorrow it’s supposed to snow. So maybe after a nice morning of studying, I could get a group together to play in it in the afternoon. Who’s to say!
The holidays on college campuses are such an exciting experience and I’m so glad that there’s something to lift my spirits as stress of finals gnaws at my brain. To any college kids reading this, I hope you do well on your finals this semester and get to enjoy some fun and festive events while you’re in the study zone!