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Congratulations! You did it — you made it through another semester of college, you traversed Zoom University and survived the trials and tribulations of attending university in the middle of a global pandemic. Not only did you make it through: I’m willing to bet that you found ways to flourish this fall. 

By “flourish,” I don’t mean making straight A's and getting through the months without a single breakdown. “Flourishing” in the year 2020 can be as simple as putting on a cute outfit for one day of classes, prioritizing your physical and mental health, or even just brushing your hair and turning on that Zoom camera. I want you to pause and ask yourself: what did I do this semester that I’m proud of? 

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It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic, anything noticeable, anything wild. Big or small, find one thing you did this semester that makes you proud of yourself… hold it tight, breathe a sigh of relief, and smile. The semester is done (or very nearly done), and you survived. Not only that: you did one thing to make yourself proud. 

As we cross the bridge from the fall 2020 semester into winter break, it’s important to find the positives in the past few months. We’ve been a part of history, we’ve faced immense hurdles in the game of life, and we’ve made it through to the other side. And while the global pandemic isn’t over yet, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Before you begin to think about anything else, take a deep breath, and give yourself permission to enjoy the break.  [bf_image id="49jfwfv7hjt4gbkbhrtqjkt"]

Find the joy in winter break this 2020 and revel in the peace of no classes. Plan a self-care night with your siblings, make a list of the things you look forward to doing the most at home, and remember how fortunate you are: at the end of the day, you made it through the semester. You’re still here, and that’s something to be thankful for. 

This year, I’m thankful for the health of my loved ones, and I’m grateful that I have a supportive group of people around me in my mental health journey. I’m finding the joy in winter break in realizing that I get to hug my sister, who I haven’t seen in a year. 

It can be hard to get buried in the downsides of 2020, especially as the holiday festivities begin and we remember those we are separated from this year. But joy can always be found, even in the smallest things. 

This year, I’m grateful for each and every one of you, and I’m proud of you for making it through the semester. Try to find the joy in the winter break, and give yourself permission to take a deep breath and smile. 

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Amille is a senior at Boston University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English. Her passions include travel, cooking, and creative writing; when she isn't testing new recipes and working on her first novel, she's spending time with pets and making memories with family.
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