It’s no real news that Philadelphia is absolutely depressing in the cold – more depressing than usual, that is.
A friend of mine recently pointed out that the wind in the city always seems to be whipping in all directions, and the rain always seems to fall directly in everyone’s eyes, almost as if Mother Nature has a personal vendetta against Broad Street.
The beautiful moments of winter are fleeting. Last week, I looked out a window in my living room while it was dark and saw my first snowflakes of the season, dancing around each other against the purple sky and glowing in the glare of stadium lighting. The scene lasted for maybe a minute, before the lush white flakes quickly devolved into an icy mist.
As if dealing with the impossible weather isn’t agitating enough, all of us begin to realize our ridiculously long winter break isn’t too far away. The last day of finals, Dec. 19, is less than a miserable month away, and we still have holiday cards to send, gifts to buy, home basketball games to attend, final papers to write and six chapters of the Italian language to learn.
It seems like this time of year brings, along with weird precipitation, a to-do list longer than Santa’s list of who’s naughty or nice. And, along with all of our new obligations to schoolwork, we still have to somehow squeeze time in to maintain a social life.
The holidays seem to revolve around friends, family and romance – that social life we’re expected to keep up with and make time for.
But how do you spend time with the ones you love during the holidays when you don’t have anyone to fall in love with?
The holiday season really sucks for singles, I can’t lie. It’s a solid month and a half dedicated to long shopping attacks at the mall, holiday dinners with no one to bring home to mom and dad and New Year’s Eve parties with no one to kiss at midnight.
No wonder the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest party night of the year – it’s a last chance to find someone to make you feel a little less lonely while you make latkes or wrap gifts. Those people who were on top of their game and are in a cozy little relationship right now must feel pretty satisfied with themselves. One less thing to make time to do.
Granted, as lucky as I think these cold-weather college couples are, it must really suck to have to spend the most wonderful time of year apart. I can’t think of a single couple I know that met in college and ended up being from the same area, making it hard to spend some quality holiday time together during five weeks at home (come on, Temple, would it be so hard to give us a fall recess instead?). How hard is it to maintain a relationship dependent on seeing your significant other more than once a day when, in the winter, the closest you can get is a phone call away?
Doesn’t it seem like the most wonderful time of the year for a college student could also be referred to as the most stressful time of the year? The most challenging time of the year? The most depressing time of the year?
Hey, I’m just calling it like I’m seeing it. Single people are opening their legs wider and taking shots faster, couples are frantically trying to figure out if they can spend at least one holiday in each other’s company and all of us are still expected to write, read, speak and act normally. Oh yeah, and find time to breathe.
In respect of tradition, I think some New Year’s resolutions are in order – a list we won’t mind keeping up with for the sake of our own sanity. Let’s resolve to live our lives (yes, Rihanna and T.I. style) and stop wallowing in self-pity when there are dreidels to spin and glasses of eggnog to sip.
Singles, resolve to share the fact that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce to the annoyingly happy couples you know who might not be so happy later.
Couples, resolve to rub the fact that you have an active sex life in the face of as many of your single friends as possible.
And finally, let’s resolve to always remember things only get more stressful from here, so we should enjoy what we can while we can. May the rest of your semester be merry and bright.
Libby Peck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.