Well, this is it. The final weeks of the fall semester have finally arrived! Yes that's right, the end is finally in sight; what we see up ahead is the light at the end of the tunnel. Now the only thing standing in our way from kicking off winter break: Finals.
Ah finals. Like Christmas, finals is that magical time of the year when everyone comes together and collectively moves into the library for a week or two. Instead of putting up decorations and baking cookies, we get to write essays and stand before our peers and present our group projects. While some people eagerly check off the days until their respective winter holiday begins, we'll be busy checking off the number of hours we have before the dropbox on Moodle stops accepting submissions. The season of giving and joy might be upon us, but so is the season of all-nighters, study groups, and the feeling of triumph one feels when everything is finally completed.
I recently researched the month of December just to see what special micro holidays occur throughout the final month of the year. My results included: National Eat a Red Apple Day, National Cookie Day, Miners Day, National Cotton Candy Day, National Cocoa Day, World Peace Day, Humbug Day, Christmas (of course), Festivus, and (and my personal favorite) National Chocolate-covered Anything Day! While December already had a handful of great holidays to celebrate, I propose that we should add one more day to this list: Study-mas!
With a far more cheerier sounding name then 'finals', Study-mas is a winter holiday that can be celebrated in a number of ways for however long a person or group of people wish to observe it. People can observe Study-mas anywhere; at the library, in their homes, in the SLIS Lounge, or wherever else they feel comfortable and, hopefully, academically productive. Food that is traditionally consumed during Study-mas ranges far and wide. Ramen, takeout, muffins, and home-cooked meals are just a handful of dishes that are commonly enjoyed by those who celebrate Study-mas. Gifts are not required but a study group will always appreciate the group member who arrives with a box of cookies or donut holes. And if you are worried about not knowing how to dress during Study-mas, don't sweat it. Pj-bottoms, sweatshirts, snuggies, and whatever else you have in your closet will do just fine. Save your money on a nice holiday dress or suit for some other holiday; Study-mas is a very laid-back and casual sort of holiday. Christmas might represent the season of giving, but Study-mas signifies the season of giving it your all.
This year, I'll be celebrating Study-mas on campus. On whatever days I don't have to work, I'll be somewhere either in the library or the Main Campus Building. I have a few Study-mas traditions that I like to keep up; eating Chinese takeout at least once is a personal favorite of mine. And while I know that everyone deals with finals in their own unique way, there is one tradition related to Study-mas that I think everyone should take part in. This tradition is shockingly simple, and doesn't require any money or decorative skills. All you need to do is take a deep breath, and relax. The tunnel might seem a bit long right now, but just take each day as it comes. In no time at all, you'll be through the tunnel, standing on the other-side, and ready to spend the last few weeks of 2014 with your friends and family.
Happy Study-mas everyone, and good luck with finals!