Even after tragedy, still a time to believe

12.10.09

The Holidays are supposed to be a time of peace, love and goodwill to all.  But with the stress and commotion of final projects and exams, the struggles of paying your tuition bills, the recent loss of a magical SUNY Potsdam friend in a tragic car accident as well as the everyday of a hectic college life, many students may be feeling more like Scrooge than Kris Kringle.

In my opinion the holiday season is in essence, an opportunity to ride a powerful emotion filled with the joy and happiness of the people you love.  The holidays are about being able to capture the excitement and accepting a mythical magic that in turn eases many of the distresses of the world. 

Students at SUNY Potsdam and all around the world should try and utilize the holiday season whether it be Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Christmas as a stress reliever and motivation to prevail through chaotic times.  So how can this excitement be captured?   The first step is to realize that despite the many hardships you’ve endured in the past, or the ones you’re currently dealing with, life doesn’t stand still, not for anyone.  You still have to deal with your problems and responsibilities, but it is okay to take time out from the craziness of your life and just enjoy the promise that comes with the season.

Having the capacity to believe is endlessly endearing.  From the comforting twinkle of Christmas lights, ornaments and candles, to remembering the gasps of amazement when youngsters discover that the milk and cookies are gone, to all the creation and wonder that is captured in the quiet, cold darkness of a late December night, there is magic in all that and more.  We need to accept and find more of that magic and wonder, especially in a time when our realities are so filled with uncertainty and doubt.     

If students can believe in holiday magic then they should be able to believe in themselves.  The ability to believe leaves people with no boundaries.  What may seem impossible in reality can be accomplished.  My father has always told me that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to and as I get older I believe this to be true.  So, when you’re in the library this week struggling to finish that ten-page paper due at 9 a.m., or rushing to finish your Advertising and Promotion project, stop for a minute, slow down and tell yourself you can do it.  You have to first believe in yourself to accomplish nearly anything in life.

Take an example from a dear friend recently lost from the SUNY Potsdam community, Tyrell D. Spencer, who urged his friends to, “slow down, give some time to yourself, and find the positive side of life, because there is no time to be negative.”

Kyle Phelix, SUNY Potsdam Class of 2010