Wrapping up 2021

Hi, Jan here! With winter break finally upon us, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at all of the

activities at Monmouth. Last year, all students were sent home at Thanksgiving break and we

had our finals from home the following week. This year, the student body returned to campus for

the two and a half segment oh-so-lovingly referred to as “hell week.” Technically I’m pretty sure

it’s supposed to be referred to as “hell weeks” but give us a break, there’s a lot to be done, and

not nearly enough time to do it all. (As a reference, I made a spreadsheet with just assignments

and other work-type things that need to be done by December 31, and I got all the way up to 60

items.)

But enough of the oh I’m sad and I have so much to do, spiel. I did that last time! No,

this time I wanted to focus on something happy—also slightly bittersweet—but mostly happy! As I’ve mentioned over the past two years when December rolls around, usually this is a pretty busy time for me, or at least, it was. I used to have concerts, exams, and Christmas shopping. Then, after coming to college, I dropped out of choir and theatre things to focus on my classes and new passions. But listening to the holiday concerts and musicals put a bit of a damper on the holly jolly spirit. I used to be the one up there singing “Wassail,” but now I’m buying a ticket and mouthing the words behind my mask.

But as my roommate pointed out to me, there’s new traditions being formed all over the

place, both Monmouth-oriented, and just from my friends.

The first big one is the holiday banquet put on by the Association of Student Activity

Planning. The entire cafe is filled with Christmas lights, and trees, and wreaths, and poinsettias.

The student workers have antlers on their work hats, and the tables are covered in wrapping

paper. The faculty plate the food and guys, they had a chocolate fountain. I don’t think I’ve eaten

that good in weeks. My mouth is watering just thinking about that fried ravioli.

A tradition started by my friends this year was a Secret Santa and a game night. Was I

absolutely crushed in Mario Kart? Yes. Is the fake plant I was gifted by my Santa (because I

can’t keep real plants alive to save my life) my new favorite thing that I’ve lovingly named

Fozami? Absolutely. Would I trade this group of dummies for the world? I’d rather give up my

fried ravioli.

The last event that is actually put on by Monmouth itself is Midnight Breakfast, and is

actually happening tonight (as of writing this column). Midnight Breakfast is a bit of false

advertising, since it’s technically at 9 p.m., but the idea is still the same. After a full Reading Day

(a day between the end of classes and that start of finals that is supposed to be used for

studying), the college offers a late night breakfast for all the students who will be up late

studying and need a bit of a pick-me-up. And coming from a student who usually is not up in

time to head to breakfast before class, I am very excited for some french toast and hot

chocolate after I finish this next essay.

I miss all of my old musical moments. I miss lighting up the advent wreath. But I love all

the new things that I’m able to try out. I’m not sure if I’ll have another column out before

Christmas, so in case I don’t: I’m wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, and I’ll talk to you

all very soon.


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