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It’s November! For all the astrology lovers, that means – for better or worse – it’s Scorpio and Sag season! For most students, that means an increase in stress and a decrease in morale. With frosh week, reading break, Homecoming (s), and Halloween in the rearview, and a final destination of breathtakingly cold mornings and lots of studying, sustaining momentum becomes extra challenging. In this period, living in the past is easy—‘I should have had more fun!’ ‘I wish I enjoyed that more’—or the reverse, we fall into a vague future with ‘I just want summer’ or, ‘just gotta get through the next few weeks.’ Neither of these options, though natural, are ideal. I write this to you, not as some preacher who has figured everything out—and certainly not as someone whose cure for sadness is to just “be happy”—rather, as someone who needs to hear the following as well. 

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Megan Charles / Her Campus Media

Of course, it’s normal to look forward to things. On the flip side, it’s normal to dislike some elements of daily life. However, certain events might cause extremes within this (ie., everything is great, or nothing is great). As students and as people living in Canada, we should measure our disinterest in (a) school (b) the cold and (c) the times in between festivities. For instance, I like the first half of winter. I love December break, I always smile at holiday decorations, and I enjoy getting cozy and watching comforting movies. After those first few weeks… well, it’s a lot of slush and colds and daydreaming about the sun and when the stress of school will take its annual break. I’ve always said the first semester of school, as a whole, is the most charming—but that’s not to undermine the difficulty of this exact transition, this extended feeling of the Sunday scaries.

What happens when there’s nothing to look forward to?

girls feeding reindeer
Original photo by Lauren Zweerink

Sometimes life presents obvious sources of joy (ie., holidays, special occasions, nature, etc), and sometimes it’s not so obvious. If I’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s that our perception shapes everything, and we are directly responsible for our own fun. That’s not to minimize what isn’t going well for us, but it’s to suggest that re-contextualizing things can help us discover what’s going better than we might think! After all, someone could be living through their soon-to-be favourite memory and not recognize its greatness because of their fixation on past memories. 

It’s not as simple as just choosing to enjoy things; rather, I recommend learning why certain aspects of our lives aren’t enjoyable, and working backwards to find what would make them better. That way, we don’t skip over the greatness of an ordinary day in fear of a worse one, or in anticipation of a better one. Too much of life can fail to chalk up to the highlights if we allow it. That’s because most of life happens in between the days we hype up! Let’s not disregard each day’s potential to be great.

This November, I’m going to make my best attempt at recontextualizing what’s in front of me and go from there! I’m unsure of what exactly will come from this exercise, although I do know what will come if I make zero effort. And that’s just not a cute outcome.

Hopefully, this mindset will create its own new beginning for me, and for you. So, here’s to a wonderful new type of November for us all (and especially to my fellow Scorpios) :)

Emma Viner

Queen's U '22

Emma Viner is a fourth year Drama student at Queen's University. She loves theatre, comedy, and exploring various avenues of creative expression.
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