The phrase “Holiday Season” always conjures up warm fuzzy feelings and it’s for different reasons in each person. For the young ones, it’s the impending promise of presents that proves to be the most exciting. For others it’s the food. For me it’s about seeing my family again…and the food.

When November rolls around I always have very mixed feelings. On the one hand, I am extremely excited about seeing my family again. But on the other hand, I dread November because that is my Hell Month. Yup, not Hell Week, Hell MONTH. We’re talking about a relentless pace of large projects and nerve wracking exams one. This tends to be the case in my college campus, but I would posit that this is universal to other campuses as well: Professor’s cram a lot into November because that is the last full semester before the end of the semester.

I remember that I was in the library on November 13th. I was having a pity part about how “bad” I had it. When I found out about what happened overseas in Paris, it made me realize what a privileged brat I was being. I did not have problems, the victims and their families had problems. My immediate stressors were fixable, theirs weren’t. They would always remember what had happened that day whereas I would never again remember that one Genetics exam. It helped put things in perspective. I truly had nothing whatsoever to complain about. I am a full time student that does not have any other responsibility than to do well in classes.

With that epiphany under my belt I was able to buckle down and power through all of what November held in store for me. Yes, there were times that the anxiety was too much that I had to stop doing work to just focus on my breathing but little by little I got through it with my planner (that thing saves my life, I swear).

Whenever my family called me throughout the month it was so heartwarming to hear their mounting excitement as the date of my arrival approached. After I cleared that last Organic Chemistry exam you’d best believe that I checked out and took myself to the airport. Upon arrival I looked around at the airport and thought that if you want to see what “love” is, all you have to do is go to an airport. Maybe it was in light of past events, but I’d never seen families to be so happy to see one another. The airport is where you see the real hugs, the bone crushing one. When I finally saw my family amongst the milieu of people I felt the largest smile spread across my face. When I hugged them, I hugged them with all the fervor I possibly could muster. I’d made it home, which is a privilege that I will never take lightly.