A cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, a snuggly couch, a rom-com or one of the good old favorites, and great company from around the world. That’s how I’d describe a perfect December, and that’s how we spend the holiday season at the International Student House in Washington, DC.
With no deadlines, assignments, or late work nights, plans are made galore and the primary difference between ‘regular’ plans and holiday plans are that the latter actually see the light of day. Ice-skating at the National Sculpture Garden, and late night zoo lights and panda spotting are some of my favorites. Every night becomes a movie night in the TV room and the different ‘Home Alone-s’ and royal Christmas movies are screened to get everyone in the holiday spirit.
I must say I do have major ‘FOMO’. I came back to Bombay (India) for my Christmas break in the last week of December, and my ISH friends were sending me photographs of ‘spa nights’ and ‘face mask’ nights in the house. The house turns into a tight-knit home with just 10-12 residents roaming the hallways in holiday PJs and Christmas fuzzy socks.
Creativity is at its peak during this period. My friends spent a couple of days rehearsing for, and filming an excerpt from the first episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and personalized it to make it our very own ISH version. (Ask a resident for a private google drive link 😉 )
While in jolly spirits sipping on our hot chocolates next to the Christmas tree in the Great Hall, it’s a bitter-sweet feeling as we bid farewell to some of our friends and dear fellow residents. With the semester coming to an end, a large number of residents make their way back to their respective home countries and leave us with fond memories. That being said, the few of us left behind (now ‘old residents’) eagerly look forward to making new ISH friends in 2019!