LSAT Prep Holiday Break: Happy Nowruz!

Take a moment from your LSAT prep materials and celebrate! Friday is the first day of Spring 2015, which marks the beginning of the year in the Persian Calendar. In Farsi we call it, “Nowruz,” which means “the new day.” It’s commonly referred to as “Persian New Year,” but, many cultures from countries around the world, ranging from Afghanistan to Turkey to Syria, celebrate Nowruz.

Though it’s not completely akin to the New Year’s Eve celebration you may be more familiar with, there are a lot of similarities. Just as we celebrate New Year’s Eve on the Gregorian calendar, we typically celebrate Nowruz surrounded by close family and friends. We eat good food and play fun music. We even count down to the beginning of the new year. Today will mark the beginning of the year 1393!

I love Nowruz. My family has always been spread across the world—grandparents living in Tehran, uncles living in France, aunts living in Canada, and cousins dispersed throughout different states in America. Nowruz has always been one of the few times when my family makes a huge effort to congregate in one place. The house smells of garlic and fried rice. Family members and friends surround each other laughing and catching up. And the Persian radio and TV are on blast playing joyful music and recounting the past year.

So, why am I telling you this? Well, first to wish all you LSAT prep friends of mine out there a Happy Nowruz! But, I also wanted to take a moment on Nowruz to remind you that stopping for a few hours during your week to spend time with your loved ones is such a great way to help to your mind and body during this stressful time. That’s one of the reasons I love Nowruz so much. For us, Nowruz lasts for almost two weeks. Starting from Nowruz, you have 13 days to go see all of your friends and family. You are invited over for dinner and you must invite people over for dinner. It’s two weeks full of love and happiness with the people you care for most. On the 13th day you go to a big park with your family and have a huge picnic. When all the fun is over I always feel calm and refreshed.

A study in Psychosomatic Medicine found that people who spend time with those they love experience a healthier drop in their blood pressure than those who spend time with strangers. Spending time with those you love will not only refresh your body, but also your mind. Your friends and family are the ones who will give you the emotional support you need to get through these next few months. It’s nice to set aside some time once in a while from your LSAT prep to spend time with your Mom, grab a cup of coffee with your best friend, or give your Dad a big hug. Did you know that when you embrace someone you love, your body releases a hormone known as oxytocin that has the power to reduce your stress and lower your blood pressure? Let the hugging commence!

Love makes the world go around. It’ll definitely help you calm down a little from the chaos of your busy study schedule. Find time throughout your week for those you love. The LSAT is an ephemeral entity in your life. Soon the day will come when you think back on the LSAT and smile about days long past; but, your loved ones and family are here to stay. Make sure they get a few moments of love and attention throughout your LSAT prep—and in doing so, you’ll be able to better energize yourself for your next round of Reading Comprehension passages!

I leave you with this last thought. Persians believe that whatever you are doing at the exact moment of Nowruz, you will do even more of throughout the year ahead. For instance, if you are laughing when Nowruz arrives, then it’s likely that you will have many more laughs in the coming year. This year, Nowruz is officially set to begin at 03:45:11 PM. Hopefully you’re doing something you like!

Happy New Year! Happy Studying!

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