Dear Fulcrum readers,

Ah, the holidays. The smell of gingerbread and peppermint in the air, the fluffy snowflakes, cozy blankets, and hot cocoa. For many, however, this picture perfect holiday scene is tainted by struggles with mental health, school, finances, family, and more. While everyone is playing holiday songs on repeat and throwing tinsel everywhere, you’re feeling the opposite of jolly.

In any case, is it even all that realistic to be a smiling, peppermint latte-holding, caroling bundle of joy every minute of the month leading up to the holiday break?

Don’t get me wrong—I’m definitely not saying it’s a bad thing to love the holidays. But when this season comes around, all of that excess joy can obscure the many challenges that come alongside the good tidings and cheer. This can, in turn, leave some people feeling out of place and left behind.

For those who can relate, this issue is for you.

The Blue Holiday Issue was designed with the intention to bring forward shared experiences with the challenges of the season, and offer a bit of advice and hope for those who need it. After all, given the fact that the holidays are lumped into the break in our studies, it’s crucial to make the most of this time and rejuvenate before the new term begins.

And yeah, maybe it’s depressing to talk about sadness, or loneliness, or fear, especially at a time when everything is supposed to be about cheer, joy, and lots of silver and gold glitter. But the more we talk about the holiday blues, the easier it is to remember that we have so much support in others—sometimes even in strangers, like the ones who have graciously offered their own advice in the pages of this issue.

From the bottom of my heart, I hope that hearing the stories in this issue will make you feel like you’re never alone in your struggles. I hope these stories inspire you to look at your challenges in a new light, find joy in every little victory, and be at peace this winter.  

—Savannah Awde, Features Editor.