Alright, I’m going to do it. I’m going to be the first to say it. I’m prepared to deal with the backlash, so here goes: Merry Christmas, everybody! If we’re measuring time by the window display in Brown Thomas, we are now firmly in the midst of the holiday season, and have been since about a week before Halloween. Soon enough, the city streets of Cork will be aglow with the lights of a thousand Christmas fairies, and that RTÉ clip of the man who slipped on some ice a few years back will resurface with a vengeance. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Credit: The Irish Mirror

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Cork City as I’m writing this, which is a very different environment compared to the one I usually write in. There’s a beautiful, warm vibe about the place, and while it’s not mobbed, there’s still a good few people here aside from me and a few of my friends. It’s a cheery spot. I quite like it here. Generally speaking, when I’m writing articles or assignments I’ll retire to my room and sit in total silence, so the chatter and the mellow soundtrack in the background is very welcome.

For a final year student especially, the Winter months are very deadline-heavy. It struck me the other day that if I don’t start writing my assignments in a more sociable setting, I’m going to become a complete recluse over the next month or so. It’s a small move, but I’m hoping it’ll make a big difference to my work and my attitude in general. Good company is a fantastic motivator. Christmas is a nice time to remember the importance of good company, I think.

I’ve been involved with student media in UCC for almost three years now, since I first began my course back in 2015. In that time, I’ve read a lot of articles: many of them were funny, some of them upsetting, and a few were brilliant. All of them showcased an intelligent, creative, and talented group of people who have never ceased to blow me away with each piece sent to my inbox.

Flipping through this issue of Motley, you’re going to find some wonderful stories, and some very sad stories; you’re going to read about diverse opinions and new ideas. You’re going to discover new perspectives. You may even fall in love. OK, maybe not that last one. But the rest of it is still pretty great.

Credit; The Irish Mirror

What I’m saying is, we’re in good company here. In a world that especially nowadays can often seem far too mean and hopeless, there are still plenty of people asking important questions and seeking important solutions. There are even more than I could ever hope to showcase within these pages who are helping each other and making each other laugh. Remember that there’s bravery in being kind. Make sure you’re seeking out those people, and make an effort to be one of those people. As long as we have them – and I think we always will, in some form or another – we’ll be alright.

Merry Christmas, and best of luck with exams and assignments!

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