The January blues

Brooke J. Freundschuh, Arts & Entertainment Editor

I remember being 15. It was about two weeks after Christmas. I lay on my bed, upside down staring at my bedroom ceiling that I had lined in Christmas lights, which I refused to take down, partially for the aesthetic and partially because I didn’t want the holiday season to be over. I would play Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” over and over, although I really had nothing in particular to be heartbroken over.

The month of January is painted in my mind in all shades of grey. It is gloomy weather, burned out lights, and carefully selected presents, wrapped perfectly, opened and returned for cash. 

I’ve always been sad in January. All of my worst times mentally have occurred in January, and it seems no matter how happy I am with my life when the year turns, I’m cursed until the spring comes. 

I suffer from depression. I’ve never been diagnosed with seasonal specific depression, so out of respect, I won’t refer to it as such. However, only some know the feeling of depression that takes over your entire body and affects your actions, or lack thereof. January days are the ones in which I would just rather not try at all. 

Why is this? I don’t have a definite answer, but a theory I’ve had this year is the amount of pressure that is put upon a new year, especially this new year. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy New Year’s Eve and Day as holidays, but in society, there is so much pressure put on the event. Nowadays most agree that New Year’s resolutions are a sham, but there is still undoubtedly pressure to be better in the new year. 

Encouragement to do and be better is not a bad thing, but what happens when one leaves all the sparkly Christmas and New Year parties and returns back to their average life? Their same job? 

As college students, we are all on the path to something greater. We do not intend to be in college for the rest of our lives, although some would like to be. The opening of the spring semester is without a doubt less interesting than the opening of the fall semester. Those of us who are on a four year (or longer) path to our future may feel discouraged by returning from a break to find things exactly the same. The fruit of our labors now may not be seen by simply hanging up a new calendar, but they will. 

So if you’re like me and you’re coming home from your dead-end job, barely scraping minimum wage after taxes, walking across the cold tile floors in your cheap apartment to get in your bed and sleep for far less than eight hours, before you have to go to classes that you’re paying way more for than you’re making, it’s going to be okay. 

Our time will come, but we must get through the winter. 

For anyone who struggles with sadness around the new year, I’ve never met a January that lasted forever. 

It’s okay to just be surviving instead of thriving right now, but you must not freeze into the sidewalks: keep moving, but rest when you’re done.