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Pick yourself up, lonely student, and make your holidays alone a little less dreary

Photo by Tina Wallace

It can be the best of times or the worst of times. Being alone during the holiday season can be a tricky business; so many students make the mistake of feeling sorry for themselves when there is really no need to. Having lots of free time, little or no concern for school, and no one to answer to is the recipe for a potentially delightful holiday season. Here are just a few suggestions of activities that can be enjoyed in spite of your lonely circumstances.

1.    Charity work is a great way to make the most of your time. One winter, I drove some inebriated people home as part of the Nez Rouge campaign to prevent drunk driving. It was definitely a worthwhile experience and one that I would recommend to all. Another year, I served meals at a homeless shelter. There is definitely no lack of humbling volunteer opportunities in Ottawa.

2.    Start a new hobby or project. Being alone can be a wonderful time to look inward and discover or develop hidden talents. Starting a small indoor garden, for example, can not only provide a better quality of air in your apartment, but can potentially yield some organic herbs or flowers.

3.    Invite people to dinner parties who you wouldn’t normally spend time with. If you’re aware of others who are alone, giving them a call may not only cheer them up but can make you feel better about helping another in need. This can also turn into a great networking opportunity or perhaps the chance to strengthen a friendship.

4.    Catch up on all the films or shows you may have missed throughout the semester. It can be tough to watch all the great films that come out week after week during the school months. Having this time alone is perfect for getting up to date with the films that might have gotten away or the television shows that required more focused attention.

5.    A great substitute for your holiday meal is a Swiss Chalet chicken dinner. Their festive meal comes with all the fixings that make a Christmas or holiday feast special, like stuffing and cranberry sauce, and it will only cost you around $15. Instead of cooking a huge turkey just for you, order some food and start watching those holiday specials.

There is no reason to feel lonely if you’re on your own during the holidays. Some students may have gotten off on the wrong foot back in September but this is the time to make things right and set the stage for a brighter semester ahead.