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Reflections on Christmas and the Changing Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Helsinki chapter.

I have always appreciated the soothing ambiance of Christmas regardless of awkward and at times anxiety-inducing family gatherings that tend to mark this holiday season. This year, however, social interactions do not come as easily due to the troubling corona situation. Visiting certain relatives is unfortunately not an option, which saddens me to a surprising extent. Although there have been times that I have craved to be alone at Christmas or at least seen it as the best option available, on this occasion, I long for the company of others. In view of this odd and demanding year, I would have taken pleasure in a friendly get-together, unburdened by various challenges for a moment. Nevertheless, I among countless others must find other and perhaps creative ways to make the most of this holiday period without much human contact. Despite my occasional loneliness, I intend to embrace the magical atmosphere of Yuletide.

It is fitting to reflect on the past year, which has been unusual to say the least. We have all been forced to challenge ourselves by adopting to the new normal amidst a global pandemic. The collective turmoil has certainly intensified my personal endeavors in overwhelming ways. In fact, having to learn to study remotely with the help of routines and techniques was a veritable struggle for me. Draining isolation, uncertainty about the near future as well as academic accomplishments have made this year not only memorable but also exceptional, a truly pivotal phase in my life. I have endured, strived for success and eventually graduated during this timeframe while also losing a relative to illness. Much has indeed happened, and I am only now coming to terms with past events.

As the year draws to an end, it is worthwhile to look forward to the future. This is troublesome, for I do not know what the next year will bring partly due to the uncertain state of the world. Time will tell when exactly I will be able to complete my internship abroad. While my career aspirations remain ambiguous, it is clear to me that the upcoming year will be full of discovery. Indeed, I will be contemplating my options, trying out different things and improving my self-knowledge as a newly graduated young person. For the time being, I welcome this freedom to broaden my horizons both professionally and personally, hopefully building a more fulfilling social life in the process. Although I will be obliged to think more strategically about my career prospects at some point, the following year will be about exploration. Sooner or later, I will be abroad enhancing my language skills as well as developing other competences. 

Helsinki Contributor