The winter vac can be very difficult. It is both very long and very short. Too long to be away from all your university friends, but too short to fit in all the work you have been set. In my case this should include revising for my upcoming mods. Instead I decided to create five playlists that I think will capture the various emotions many of us find ourselves having at this peculiar time.

They say there are five stages to grief. I reckon the same could be said for accepting the winter vacation and all the feelings it brings.

Stage One:​ You actually miss Oxford

You have been looking forward to going home since 1 October. You crossed out each passing week on your calendar, slowly working your way towards 2 December. You got over the supposed Week 5 blues (they hit in 8th Week instead). You dealt with the mess that is food in hall and the two hour queues at Bridge. You did all of this with the hope that it will all be worth it when you eventually get to go home and your mum welcomes you back with her homemade lasagna.

But no. Of course, good things do not happen to you. No one even realised you were coming back (“you’re done,​ already?​”) and so they forget to pick you up. You realised the Mexican lasagna that LMH hall served is your life now and so you wish you were back at Oxford. At least in Oxford, someone gave you attention (even if it’s just the scout or the porter). You miss your friends, the free food at welfare tea, and ​maybe​ even your tutors…

Stage Two:​ You have a little breakdown

By little I mean big. You just want to lie in bed all day and stare at the ceiling. But your family don’t let you. You want to be alone and not have to think about collections. This playlist will help you get out all the tears you’ve be storing all term (there’s no time to cry in Oxford). Make sure to cry enough to cover Hilary term, as well.

Play this and you will be too busy crying to submit an Oxfess.

Stage Three:​ It’s nearly Christmas and the aforementioned breakdown shows no signs of subsiding

You are not done with your breakdown but it’s nearly Christmas and surely you can’t be crying during Christmas, right? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I created a Christmas themed breakdown playlist, just for you.

Stage Four:​ You miss your friends, significant other, and your tutors

Self explanatory, really. Listen to this as you think about your crush, your college porters, your college pets, your friends, your tutors, and your boyfriend/girlfriend. Listen to it whilst submitting a very low effort Oxlove instead of, you know, just texting them?

Stage Five:​ The Post-Breakdown

It’s a Christmas miracle! The tears have run out and you didn’t lose the plot as much as you thought you would, just a few days back. You are now able to go back to your usual life. You agree to meet some of your friends from back home and you remind yourself of how great life was before Oxford happened. Except it’s now 5 January and you’ll be back in a few days…

Maybe next year just skip straight to Stage Five.

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