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School of Thought: Cherish the holidays at home

As we approach the holidays at John Jay High School, it seems that the festive spirit is overtaking us. Already, students proudly adorn reindeer sweaters, converse cheerily about their holiday shopping lists, and talk dreamily of how much sleep they will get over the school break. It is a time of the year that is highly anticipated, and never disappointing.

Yet what do the holidays mean to seniors? Unfortunately, it seems like the pressures of the college application process have weighed everyone down. Many seniors are eagerly waiting to hear about their early decision application. Most of these applicants will receive notification by Dec. 15. This of course has produced a lot of stress, and understandably so. But it is still sad to hear proclamations such as “I wish it were Christmas right now so I would know if I was accepted into my top choice” ringing through the hallways. It seems that we are wishing the holidays away, and they are racing by.

I will admit that I am among those who have had thoughts like this before. I think many of us get lost in a senior bubble, one that is so consumed by thoughts of the future. The danger of this is that it can cause us to forget the present. Perhaps I’m being over-sentimental, yet I can’t help but think about how this is the last holiday season we will spend in the Katonah-Lewisboro school district. College is certainly an important part of our lives. But so is senior year. To rush through it seems like a waste.

The holidays are a time of the year to be thankful for family and friends. It is a time to acknowledge that there are people who are not as fortunate as us, such as those recently affected by Hurricane Sandy, and reach out to them. In this light, the issue of college acceptance diminishes in importance. So even though I will surely tire of the countless variations of “Jingle Bells” that are played on radio, I do not wish the month away. Even though I remain in suspense, taunted by the possible outcomes of my future, I remember those that are in desperate need of help this holiday season. And while we are lighting the candles, decorating the tree, or celebrating in any other way, we should really enjoy it; the future can wait.

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