Creative Commons License by Justin Brown


It’s here. It’s past mid-semester, but the deadlines keep on coming. Just when we all imagined that the busiest time of the academic calendar had passed, we realise it’s not quite over yet. The cold November air bites at hands and noses as we rush around in an impassioned frenzy, juggling library books and printing essays, chugging coffee like no tomorrow and hoping that revision week arrives before we collapse under the immense workload. But it will arrive – so don’t fret too much.

At this time of year it’s a good idea to take a deep breath and look at the big picture. Yes, there is much work to be done – to be written, revised, and committed to memory. But it will be done. It will pass. We will pass. The Christmas holidays will arrive and before you know it you’ll be enjoying the merriment of the holiday season with loved ones, with no academic stresses to bother you until late January. Now doesn’t that sound nice?

For those lucky enough to have secured a ticket to the much-celebrated Mermaid’s Christmas Ball on November 30th, embrace your good fortune! Use the ball to wave goodbye to the first semester in style, and to welcome the spirit of Christmas joy into your undoubtedly tired, demoralised heart. 

Catch a small break from the craziness of academia by attending one of our many societies’ Christmas Socials – the Law Society’s gathering at the Rusacks Hotel is sure to be a hit with traditional offerings of mulled wine and minced pies. Such warming treats are enough to melt even the iciest of anti-Christmas hearts. 

Or, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to celebrate Christmas in November (I know some of you semi-Scrooges are out there), why not get involved in the awesome celebration that is American Thanksgiving? For all Americans it’s an obvious must, but even for non-American St Andreans, it has to be experienced at least once. November 27th is the date to mark on your calendar this year, ladies and gentleman. Think turkey and stuffing, pumpkin and pecan pies, all wrapped up in the most gorgeous communal atmosphere you’ve ever experienced. This is a celebration that will have you smiling with merriment the whole way through. If you’re eager to sample the authentic taste of Thanksgiving pies, be sure to attend The Fine Food & Dining Society’s Pie Bake Sale, the profits of which will be going to FareShare – a charity that helps supply food to homeless hostels and women’s refuges. Not only do you get to enjoy a delicious treat yourself, but you help those less fortunate enjoy a decent meal. What could be better than that, really?

Yes, get your work done. Yes, try hard – but don’t forget to play hard too. There are so many wonderful events going on throughout November, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume and decide to abstain from attending any at all. But I urge you to get out there and banish the cold, biting November days with the warmth of festive cheer and communal merriment. Enjoy the build up to Christmas – the beautiful lights hung around town, the glorious scarlet advertising, the smell of winter spices and the chance to buy mulled wine, mince pies, advent calendars and all the rest. What’s the point in fighting it? Why look upon these early celebrations with scorn? 

Absorb all the positivity you can and embrace the joy that flows from the Christmas-enthusiasts. Instead of moaning that ‘it’s too early for Christmas songs!’ every time you enter a supermarket, why not – I don’t know – sing along? Being a miserable old grump gets you nowhere, you know.



Sally Allmark



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