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More cheer and less fear this holiday season

With finals beginning and another school year ending, it’s nice to know we’re almost done and have the holidays to look forward to. Unlike years past, I feel a thick gloom lofting around the campus after the hard year we’ve been through.

Nightmares can be scary for children and parents, but there are things you can do to help. (Fotolia)
Fear is the product of ignorance and uncertainty, we fear what we do not understand. (Fotolia)

This year alone we have witnessed everything from mass bigotry to gender preference and race on both sides of the spectrum; less than respectful candidates are running for the leader of the free world and there have been so many senseless shootings that it’s no longer shocking. On top of this, we’ve had our own lives to deal with: stressful classes, bills to pay and the many other trials of life.

If you’re just not feeling up to the spirit of the season, I would not blame you, but let me just say that this is a special time of year and it has ways of bringing out the best in everyone. I’m a firm believer that situations don’t change people, however people can change with each new situation they face. The holidays give us opportunities and resources to be the person we want to be inside.

Dickens’ immortal classic, “A Christmas Carol,” gives the perfect example of bitter old miser mending his ways after experiencing a great awakening. He becomes a charitable and beloved man by everyone who knew him. Great realizations are possible for all of us, just don’t be afraid.

Fear is the product of ignorance and uncertainty, we fear what we do not understand. Children are often afraid of the dark because they don’t understand that there are no monsters to hurt them. Similarly, when we face trials without a known outcome we may begin to fall into despair. When I feel this way, I remind myself to not be afraid by implementing two methods. I get informed and I get involved.

The holidays are all about good will toward mankind, it’s about being part of something more then ourselves. I promise you that if you’re feeling a little blue, you are not alone. Many other students are away from home and exhausted after a grueling semester. Being aware of the needs of others will not only distract you from your own worries, it will help you to feel alive during this season of joy.

It’s natural to feel scared  about uncertainty. Some of us are graduating with no idea where we’re going next, while others are just starting school and don’t know which path they even want to take. Taking a minute to breathe and appreciate the people in our lives will provide peace of mind and a clear, new perspective.

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