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The Blue & Gray Press | November 23, 2017

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Finals Require Distractions

By AUSTIN BARTENSTEIN
Staff Writer

It’s Dec. 11, you’re finally done with exams and likely to be on your way home, but as slow as the two weeks after Thanksgiving go by, you rarely get a chance to stop and appreciate the holiday festivities around you.

Like every other year of college, students will spend almost the whole first half of December away from their families. And instead of celebrating and getting ready for the holidays they will be stressing over final exams.

While winter breaks in college are generously longer than the ones most of us had in grade school, most students are away from their families and don’t get to spend the first half of the holidays with them.

Even before exam week begins, professors assign plenty of work to consume your time during the end of the semester. While a lot of the work can be avoided by not putting it off, a chunk of it is often intended to be done at the end of the semester. Therefore, we miss the first two weeks of December.

This means different things for students who celebrate different holidays.

Hanukkah takes place this year from Dec. 1 to Dec. 9, so Jewish students have to spend it at school stressing about the end-of-the-year assignments instead of enjoying those days with their families.

In addition, Christian students miss the first two weeks of Advent, which is an exciting time in the weeks before Christmas.

This is a problem without an easy solution. We cannot change when the school decides to have its breaks, neither can we control when our professors decide to assign work. While we can definitely control procrastination, we will likely decide not to.

So what’s the solution? Well, if it’s anything like the past it involves having tacky sweater parties, hanging up cheap versions of Christmas trees and decorations, and finding anything else to distract us from the stress of finals.

Fredericksburg isn’t the worst place to be for the start of the holidays. You can still get holiday shopping done at Central Park and downtown.

Downtown Fredericksburg looks very festive this time of year, too. They even have a holiday parade the first weekend in December where they close off Caroline Street. Several organizations and school groups participate, and it really brings the whole town together.

We can’t enjoy the first half of the countdown to Christmas, or any other holiday with our families at home. However, we can still enjoy the countdown to the end of our finals with our friends at school. The start of the holidays is the best distraction to do that. It may be the only way to come out of those last weeks before break content.