Holidays are wonderful things, especially for law students. Most of them offer us some much-needed time off, or at least another occasion to relax and celebrate. With the end of Hanukkah approaching, I’ve been thinking about how the meaning of certain holidays has changed for me since I came to law school. As the last week of finals nears, I think now more than ever is when we could all use a little more celebration.
Hannukah is a very special holiday. Though I don’t celebrate it, I still feel that it can teach us all a valuable lesson about the power of hope. I believe that the symbolism of Hannukah centers around working with what you have without necessarily knowing whether it will be enough. Faith plays a central role in this and many other holidays, though one does not have to profess a specific religion in order to harness the power of faith.
The key is the belief that things are going to turn out alright. At times we pay so much attention to what others expect of us that we begin to lose the trust we have in ourselves. We lose sight of not only what we’re capable of, but of the fact that opportunities present themselves to us in ways that we could have never expected. It is remaining open to each and every chance we get that allows us to flourish as individuals.
Christmas has also become more powerful for me now that I’m in law school. The main reason is that it will be one of the few holidays that I can spend with my family without having to worry about classes or reading. I see that as a good thing, really, as it makes it all the more special for me and my loved ones. Not only that, but the spirit of giving that surrounds the holiday provides some cheer in what can otherwise be a fairly stressful season.
If anything, the holidays have become even more meaningful to me since I’ve started studying law. I now cherish the sense of joy that each of them brings in a different way. It is my sincere hope that everyone gets to experience that happiness and that it lasts throughout this year as well as the next. Take care of each other, enjoy the holidays, and have a happy new year.