Yes indeed, we’re halfway there, and at many times it does look a lot like we’re living on prayer. November/December may mean it’s the end of the calendar year, but this is just the halfway point of the academic year. All I can say is that if you’re reading this, and you’re finding it tough, don’t worry: you’re not the first, and you certainly won’t be the last, but for a second let’s forget anyone else. Now I’m talking just to you (sorry if this triggers any, latent or active, form of paranoia). You can do this. And if you can’t, dropping out isn’t the end of the world. It’s not *ideal* but life generally isn’t. The most important thing, right now, is to take care of yourself, and if being here is standing in the way of you being okay, then it should go before you do.
Before the college get upset, I am not telling you that you have to drop out, that it’s the only solution to your problems or that it’s the best, ultimo-prima solution…but it may be the thing for you, who knows. If you’re afraid of friends or parents disapproving, they’ll probably come around, don’t sweat it.
Okay, I feel like I’ve gone down one tangent and it’s taken us off course, so to steady the ship, let’s go back to you (sorry again, paranoia sufferers): if you’re feeling stressed, there *are* other steps before dropping out (sorry if I worried you there). There’s the usual suspects of rest, regular sleep, eating well, exercising, drinking a good ole cupán tae etc. etc. Looking a bit more in-depth, there’s also things like talking to someone, counselling (pro-tip: if you find that counselling isn’t for you, look into CBT). There’s also medication, if that’s your thing (consult your doctor). Point is, there are a million ways to take care of yourself if you’re feeling a bit stressed, the main thing is to find what works for you.
Continuing the trend of discussing something totally different in the latter half of this editorial, I wanted to talk about alternative Christmas gifts. Time’s are tough, especially if you’re a student who doesn’t get the grant or can’t work a part-time job, so it’s good to be aware of cheaper gift options around town. HomeSense/TK Maxx have some really nice looking stuff at cheaper prices (#notspon), especially if the person you’re buying for is weirdly obsessed by pineapples (#pineapplesummer). For people, especially relatives, you don’t see very often, just popping in for a visit might be a great gift, especially older relatives. I’m also a massive fan of the classic charitable donation. If you’re looking for charities to donate, I would personally suggest the following: the Sexual Violence Centre Cork, Samaritans Ireland, Cork D.A.W.G, Cork Penny Dinners (especially in the wintertime), Cork ARC Cancer Support and BelongTo, to name just a few.
And as always, mind yourselves.