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Why The Holidays Are The Best Time To Reinvent Yourself

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

College is a time of self-discovery: finding yourself, losing yourself and then picking up the pieces and redefining yourself. With the new year right around the corner, now is the best time to look within yourself and make any necessary changes so that 2019 can be your best year yet!

The holiday season provides the perfect time away from the stresses of college work and finals, giving you a moment to relax, see friends and get lost in the holiday spirit. Even if the holidays may not be your favorite time of year, you can still take time for yourself to enjoy the little things – whether that’s baking holiday sweets, giving gifts, or having cheesy Christmas movie marathons.  

Say you had to drop a course this semester that was bringing down your GPA, or you had to cut ties with that girl or guy who was toxic in your life but for some reason you just haven’t yet. The holiday break lets you disconnect from that, take a step back, and reevaluate yourself and come back with a fresh slate for a new year, a new semester and a new you.

It allows for an excuse to create a new beginning or bring something to an end – if something or someone isn’t suiting you, it’s the perfect time to break away from that without being immersed in the college atmosphere that might make it harder to move on. Plus, you can lean on the support of family and friends who are removed from the situation and who can be there for you if you need them or their advice.

Sometimes when we’re so immersed in something, whether it be your course schedule, friend group or a new romantic interest, it’s hard to see outside of the bubble your mind sometimes traps you in. Taking time to try new things in a new environment, see old friends, and eat peppermint bark like it’s the last time you’ll ever eat chocolate again gives us a break and lets us take a step back to re-evaluate where we are in our lives. Are you happy in your current situation? If not, take a step back, evaluate the decisions you’ve made so far this year, and take time to make changes so that this year actually can be your best year yet.

New Year’s Eve is the ideal time to think about differences you want to make in your life, or perhaps in the lives of others, in the next year. Although gifts aren’t ~everything~, giving them to people you care about can honestly be better than receiving gifts – especially after seeing the joy on the face of the receiver and knowing you put thought into something that brings them happiness. Plus, it doesn’t hurt feeling a little satisfaction in bringing a little joy to someone you care about.

Another fun way to get into the spirit of the new year and refresh your mindset is to mix up your music playlist! It might seem trivial, but at least for me, the music that I listen to can most definitely impact my mood – for better or for worse. Sometimes, when you’re down in the dumps, it’s fine to wallow for a day or two – but if you’re up for it, it’s never a bad idea to mix things up musically to rev your spirits back into high gear. (I recommend Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You x Soulja Boy’s “Crank That Soulja Boy”. It’s a timeless mashup, truly.) 

Yet another good way to give yourself a break during the holiday is to take a step back from social media. I’m not saying to ditch your phone altogether (unless you want to!), but take time to more richly enjoy the moments you get to spend with the people you care about; this way, when you look back, you’ll remember your uncle hilariously dressing up as Santa for the 14th year in a row and not what Becky wore to her holiday party, as documented by Instagram.)

Lastly, treat yourself – you deserve it! Look at where you were last year, and look at where you are now. You’ve made it so far. Even if you haven’t made it to exactly where you want to be yet, that’s all the more reason to keep working and improving yourself; ultimately, your body and mind should come before anyone else’s.

So, if you haven’t found the time to exercise lately but you know you enjoy doing it, then invest the extra time you have over the break into doing that! If eating Ben & Jerry’s at 3 a.m. while watching your fourth binge of The Office is more your cup of tea, then go for it! Been looking to take a trip to see that friend you haven’t seen in a while? Now’s the perfect time! The new year will be what you make of it. It may sound simple, but the effort you put into bettering yourself and bettering your circumstances really will equate to what you get out of it. Try it and see, collegiettes!

I am currently a senior at Penn State pursuing a degree in Criminology and Sociology. If I'm not running, I'm writing, and if I'm not writing, I'm probably watching true crime TV. Lover of scary movies, spicy foods, and all things Disney.
Samantha Grillo graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. She loves creative writing, pop culture and Penn State, all of which led her to joining the Her Campus Penn State team at the beginning of her freshman year as a contributing writer. In her free time, Samantha enjoys reading, watching her favorite TV shows, and catching up on the latest movies.