Believe it or not, I’m not talking about Christmas.

My friends, the beginning of each semester in college is a truly wonderful time. I know I sound a bit like Hermione Granger when I say this, but I really do get excited about diving into new classes. The start of each new class means it is time to become increasingly excited about a new schedule and new materials to learn. The environment is fresh, the students are lively, the professors are excited, and the assignments are few. When the workload is less, this leaves room for a bit more silliness.

Okay, let’s be real.

Because life is unpredictable, silliness in moderation is necessary. Life can be exhausting, exciting, inconsistent, and invigorating all at once. It seems to go by so fast, yet proves to be as short as an individual day is long. Silliness and fun allows us to take ourselves less seriously, focus on those we care about and clear our minds so that we can focus more effectively on what lies ahead.

As the first week of the semester drew to a close, I began to notice how wonderful the people in my classes are. Some are close friends, while others are acquaintances that I am looking forward to spending more time with. With each new group, initial awkwardness can be hard to beat as everyone attempts to get to know each other both inside and outside the classroom. After some thinking, a group of us were able to create a new tradition that I think will become a surefire way to ease tensions during our study sessions. This tradition is something I like to call a Creative Sock Party.

Here are the Sock Party rules:

  • You must look ridiculous
  • You mustn’t care that you look ridiculous
  • You must make someone laugh
  • The tackier the better

After a day full of class, work, and various other obligations, a large group of us met at a friend’s apartment to laugh, show off our socks, and watch movies. The time spent together was terribly refreshing and allowed us all to let down our guard, be amiable, and get to know each other better.

As this is the season of New Year’s Resolutions, I have made an effort to try to observe and enjoy life as much as I analyze it. After an engaging class discussion or a challenging assignment, I found that a bit of silly is just what I need to balance myself out again. I have noticed that the best times to create new traditions and build upon new relationships are the first weeks of each semester when time permits us to relax a bit more and dive into our learning experience surrounded by old and new friends.

It’s so beneficial to let your hair down every so often. Put yourself out there, look silly, laugh freely, and be open to new relationships. We are all in a similar place in life, and experience is often better when shared. College is a time for learning, from both professors and other students. When you get the chance, embrace the silly as well as the serious. You’ll be amazed at the memories you make.