As the holiday season is now in full swing, it is time to spend time away from classes, and spend time with families and friends Returning home is not always a happy experience for every person, however. I want to write this for the individuals who have a hard time being home for the holidays, the people who do not find the same love and joy during the holiday season I am able to be a part of. You deserve happiness, and you deserve to feel loved no matter how you feel. You deserve acceptance exactly as you are.

Family is important, yes, but you should feel free to distance yourself from family members who may prove to be toxic for your mental or emotional well-being. You are allowed to express your emotion. You are under no obligation to spend time with people who hurt you, even if they love you. You should not compromise yourself simply to please the people around you. Feel anger, feel frustration, feel sorrow. Keeping in these negative emotions will only result in an explosion of feelings later on. You do not have to apologize for feeling this way, even if no one else around you feels the way you do.

Remember to do something that will make you happy. Pet your dog, write in your journal, listen to your favorite album. You are valid in having emotions, even if it does not feel as though you are. Reach out to a friend, trust them, and talk to them about your emotions. If you think it may be necessary, feel free to ask for professional help. There is absolutely no shame in doing so. Do not allow yourself to withdraw from the people who love and respect you. Take a deep breath, and remember that things will only get better from here. You will always have people around you who love and support you no matter your level of happiness.