Anticipation of Holiday Fun Gets Students Through the Stress of Finals


Published: December 10, 2009

It’s impossible not to notice the glowing lights on the trees outside of the Time Warner building, the colorful window displays in every store, and the dropping temperatures that signal the beginning of the holiday season.

The shopping lists, sales and beautiful decorations are enough to make even the best students become wrapped up in the holiday cheer. It’s enough to almost make you forget that before you can really enjoy what the season has to offer, you must get through some dreaded finals.

Despite the mad rush to finish term papers and prepare for exams, many Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) students can’t resist indulging in the holiday cheer.

“I can’t wait to go ice skating in Bryant Park,” said Amie Shen, FCLC ’12. “Sipping hot chocolate with friends at a cafe and holiday shopping are also at the top of my list.”

“One of my favorite events is the holiday parties,” said Vanessa Le, FCLC ’11. “I enjoy going to my friends’ houses for dinner and dancing to Christmas music.”

“I love going Christmas shopping,” said Heather Houlton, FCLC ’11. “The stores are decorated for the holidays and there are always sales.”

For many students, finally being able to spend time with family is something to look forward to after a semester of hard work.

“As part of moving to the Big Apple with my family, we have made it a tradition to see the Rockettes every year,” said Erika Black, FCLC ’11. “I also love walking in Central Park when there is snow on the ground.”

“I will definitely go see Santa at Macy’s this year with my little cousins and go see the Christmas tree,” said Ashley Williams, FCLC ’11. “Cooking with my family on Christmas Eve is also important to me.”

“Christmas break is important because it’s an opportunity for me to catch up with my siblings,” said Jenny Hirsch, FCLC ’10. “Even though I don’t dorm, it’s difficult for me to spend quality time with my family because I always have so much school work to do.”

For others, the break will allow for some much-needed reading and relaxation.

“I look forward to reading some books for pleasure and preparing for the spring semester,” said Lia Kritikos, FCLC ’11.

“I usually don’t have time to read the books I enjoy [during the semester] because there’s always so much to do,” said Lauren Black, FCLC ’12. “I’m taking a trip to Borders after finals.”

“I definitely want to catch up on my reading,” said Jess Bender, FCLC ’11. “I have a shelf full of books that I never had a chance to read because of school and work obligations.”

Looking forward to winter break at home, some students anticipate their annual family traditions.

“Every year, I always make time to watch those retro Christmas specials with my family,” Bender said. “We’re obsessed with stop-motion ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and ‘A Year Without a Santa Claus.’”

“I’ve always enjoyed decorating the tree with my family,” Kritikos said.

There’s no doubt that the holiday season and all the fun it brings with it has students feeling the holiday cheer. But does the stress of finals put a damper on their holiday plans?

Some students find that the finals schedule runs too close to Dec. 25, limiting the time they have to enjoy the season without the stress of exams.

“Only after finals will I be able to enjoy the holiday cheer for a couple of days,” Shen said.

“I think finals go too far into the holiday season,” Williams said. “I want to enjoy the holiday spirit, but at the same time I feel overwhelmed with finals and papers. By the time I finish, it’s three days before Christmas.”

“I live in New York, so having a final on the last day isn’t a big deal, but for people who live a flight away it must be frustrating to have to stick around campus so long,” Le said.

Others students don’t seem to have a problem with balancing finals and the rush that comes with preparing for the holidays.

“I do have plenty of time to shop for presents, even with finals running so far into December,” Kritikos said.

“I don’t mind having finals into December because studying keeps me busy,” Black said.

“I think it depends on when exactly finals end for the certain student,” Bender said. “Usually my finals end relatively early, so I still have time to bask in the holiday cheer. However, regardless of my test schedule, I always make room to celebrate the holidays. How could I let tests ruin my Christmas cheer?”

While some find it difficult to enjoy the holiday season while studying for finals, in the end, most students are able to find a balance between the two, with finals just a bump in the road to a break full of family, fun and relaxation.