Photo: Stephen Armstrong

All good things must come to an end, especially Winter Break

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By Alex Downham

Once Frost Week arrives, the holidays become a distant memory. As second-semester rolls in with winter’s winds, I — along with many others — wish the festive break never ended. While we raced to wrap stale chocolate for that relative we still can’t name, we spent time with loved ones during the time in-between. But nothing last forever, and the holiday chaos has died down. Frost Week is approaching like a black cloud and we are forced to walk towards it. Alas, festive lights dim as we drive farther from home; they’ll be up until March, but it just won’t be the same. So, for the sake of nostalgia, take a look at this short list of holiday festivities you’ll be missing during Frost Week!

Isn’t it what we all went home for? Besides family, and stuff. Students’ eyes and mouths water over holiday meals awaiting them as they cram laundry into bulging travel bags. Each year visions come like a fever dream: flowing rivers of gravy over mountains of mash taters, a radioactive glaze over the honey ham, even your aunt’s shitty fruitcake makes an appearance! Every meal leaves you sweating as you test your stomach’s limit. As Frost Week begins, however, the leftovers are never the same.  A previously delightful dish longs for your mother’s love, squealing for help inside your microwave.  Supplies will run scarce and your previous diet of canned food and Ram burgers will return.

The New Year’s resolution
New Year’s resolutions, at least for students, often start at the end of exams. Some hope to start reading or exercise over break. When festive stress kicks in, however, these goals are often postponed to next semester. Many attend Frost Week with their heads high and goals in-mind, but do not be fooled my fellow Rams, for this yearly tradition is short lived! For example, the RAC and MAC become hostile territory as born-again bodybuilders fill its halls to get fit. A battle of Gumby vs. the giant ensues, triggered by long lines, poor form and phrases like “what does this do?” As regular athletes’ heads reach breaking points, their lack of advice leaves newcomers to their own devices. Many, including myself, do not survive the two-week conflict and prepare for next year through a strict schedule of Netflix and occasional readings.

For any student, a moment of relaxation is something to be cherished.  Although a winter break should be an excuse to laze around, much of it is spent doing other things, such as: buying presents, setting up decorations and telling apathetic relatives “what you’re up to these days.”  While one tries to push through the stress, the holidays are already over. By the time you pick up a book, it’s heavy, dense and intriguing as your grandma’s gossip at Christmas dinner.

The term “winter wonderland” is only suitable during the holiday season. The snow is still soft and colourful light floods onto the streets. As the New Year begins, however, the lights go off and people get increasingly irritated with the weather. Fun in the snow has become hazardous. Snowballs turn into lethal weapons and tobogganing becomes a one-way ticket to a broken back. The wonderland has become a land of sleet and slush, where stale air instantly freezes snot and snow makes a god-awful creaking sound. And surprise, it’s just in time for Frost Week! Forget about going to parties too; your friends will refuse to trek outside for anything other than school, work or groceries.  Frozen hell waits.

Winter break is the calm before the storm. Next time, spend it wisely.

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