Last week I waited with bated breath for the final star of Halloween’s night sky to melt into the morning sun of Nov. 1. Put your skeleton decorations away, people. The winter solstice fast approaches! 

I may be known amongst friends for having a particular proclivity for the holiday season, but it’s not just Christmas carols and Thanksgiving turkeys that put a smile on my face. It’s also definitely not the aisles of environmentally unfriendly wrapping paper and plastic fall-themed wreaths, either. 

There are plenty of drawbacks to the most wonderful time of the year. Among the upticks in stress and trips home to childhood dining rooms lie conversations with relatives who insist you’re still growing and elders who question your career prospects. In between these unfortunate details we — the college student body — learn to create magic within the cracks of campus life. 

This brings me to the holy grail of the university holiday season: Friendsgiving. How has this unconventional holiday become so emblematic of the holiday season? Is it the potluck dinner of ramen and instant mashed potatoes? Or, perhaps, it’s the leftover Halloween candy hiding on the top shelf, or a trip to South Quad’s taco bar. Maybe it’s literally just wine. 

The beauty of this holiday lies in its open-endedness. Its flexibility matches our youthful rejection of tradition, but make no mistake; its importance does not go unnoticed. 

Together, we inhabit Ann Arbor in communal states of elongated temporal existence, ever-avoiding the concept of impending graduation. This holiday season, take time to remember this fact not out of sadness, but for specified appreciation of its uniqueness. 

Look away from your papers and flashcards and too-long readings to bask in the ease of finding a night for everyone to convene in the same place on someone’s floor — and apologize to the downstairs neighbors for the noise it might cause. 

In this spirit, here are some of the people I am thankful for:  

The friend who reads all my Daily articles without me telling her I’ve written them. 

The friend who works at Starbucks and recently brought home an entire carton of the Strawberry Refresher concentrate because he knows it’s my favorite drink. 

The old roommate who once taped a stuffed animal to our dorm-room ceiling while I was asleep because she knew it would make me laugh in the morning. 

The friend that I met in a sleepy English class who texted me her summer address last May so we could be old-fashioned pen pals. 

The friend who recently told me to think of myself as an extra large Mission-line flour tortilla, whereas my ex-boyfriend is the small store-brand corn alternative. 

The friend who I met while studying at a different university, but will Facetime me exactly when she knows I need it the most. 

My twin brother, who lives across the street from me and convinced me to transfer from a school where I was truly unhappy. 

And to everyone else who I continue to meet far into my college years. To the friends who may be strangers today but I might one day call family, all thanks to this crazy little microcosm of Southeast Michigan. 

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