The Post Thanksgiving Ennui
By Michael Chin
Let’s be frank. Nobody cares about their classes after Thanksgiving break. Instead we are trapped by mass amounts of the tryptophan-laden bird (although that’s not even really an excuse), subjugated by the insurmountable ennui known as the food coma.
Whether it’s the aforementioned full-bellied fatigue, the leftover sleep deprivation from the full-scale consumerist war that is Black Friday, or perhaps that our minds have been hypnotized by a four-day weekend filled with Charlie Brown TV specials. One thing’s for sure, though: Week 10 is by far the most apathetic week of fall quarter. And can anyone blame us? Week 9 is a three-day week, after which we get to go home for a few days and get a sample of winter break. This test-drive of post-finals freedom is practically all we need to pull up on our figurative studying emergency break.
Yet we are still subjected to another week of torturous humdrum class attendance. Some of us slack off and sleep in, others nod off in the back of their classrooms. Christmas music has started to play nonstop on radio stations, Disneyland puts up their holiday decorations — it’s practically rubbed into our faces that we are in that strange liminal space between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It’s a magical time, if you really think about it. Most people can (and do) approach this time in a haze, eyes glazed over as we commiserate the difference between what was on the table for Thanksgiving and what delicious dishes Christmas dinner will offer.
Students such as ourselves, though, polarize themselves into a field of opposing forces: Those who never did their work in weeks 1-8 gear up, drink a bunch of energy drinks and get ready to #occupy a Science Library study room while people who busted ass to maintain their A for the rest of the quarter can sit back and relax in knowing that their grades are beyond the point of dropping.
Whether you’re the former or the latter, post-Thanksgiving offers a paradigm shift that winter and spring quarters do not; it’s not like we get a pre-spring or pre-summer break. Thanksgiving is a ridiculous holiday to have before the most difficult part of the quarter.
While it is hard to care, it’s important to keep ourselves study-ready. We deny ourselves memories of Thanksgiving, instead scarfing down our leftovers and trying to make it seem like a part of our winter vacations didn’t already happen.
So here we are, ‘Eaters: Week 10. The last stretch, just a short few days before we can let ourselves get lazy again. It’s time to fight tryptophan with taurine, stave off visions of tinsel and multi-colored string lights. Turn off your radios and pretend that you still have some stake in reading course books and taking notes. Buck up, it’s only two weeks until UCI’s study habits reverse themselves into giant end-of-the-quarter parties.
Just a few more days, people. A few long, long days.