Indulging In Winter Drinks, And 11 Other Ways To Actually Enjoy The End Of The Fall Semester

Indulging In Winter Drinks, And 11 Other Ways To Actually Enjoy The End Of The Fall Semester

Just because it's time for finals doesn't mean these last few weeks have to suck.

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Ahhh, it's that time of year again: the awkward three or four weeks of the fall semester that are jammed between Thanksgiving and Christmas. College students have just gotten a taste of what it's like to be at home with very few responsibilities, and honestly, there's nothing they want more than to go back to that false childhood-like state.

However, there's also so much fun to be had before students say goodbye to their friends for nearly a month. Plus, it's the holiday season—who wants to wish that away? Even with the stress of finals, these 12 activities can help make these weeks some of the best of the year.

1. Throw a holiday party.

Office Christmas

Whether it's Secret Santa, White Elephant, or Ugly Sweater themed, holiday parties are the perfect way to enjoy the season and forget about the stress your classwork brings—even if it's only for a few hours.

2. Use the cold weather as an excuse for a movie night. 

Movie

After a cold, long day of classes, it's really nice to pop some popcorn and indulge in nostalgic Christmas movies, or the Hallmark-style ones if we're being serious here. Gotta have something to blame those stress-filled tears on.

3. Find seasonal activities to do with your friends. 

Slake

Ice skating, Christmas light viewing, even snowball fighting make for exciting winter-specific events for you and your friends. These are the sorts of memories that turn into lifelong traditions.

4. Check out a few basketball games. 

Orange Krush

With winter comes college basketball. Even if you're not into sports, student-run fan organizations, such as the Orange Krush at UIUC, make gamedays some of the most exciting of each week for students looking for a fun evening activity.

5. Get your gift shopping done. 

Shopping

Finals are stressful, but the holidays are fast-approaching. Take a healthy break from studying and get your shopping taken care of—it'll be both fun and productive.

6. Bundle up in your softest clothing. 

Warm

Yes, it may be cold, but that means you get to wear your comfiest clothing 24/7. Sweaters and warm socks for class? Count me in!

7. Take advantage of the freedom you have at school.

Freedom

When you go home for winter break, you'll be back to living under your parents' roof, which often means you'll be back to living by their rules for a month. Use these last few weeks to really enjoy being the kind-of-adult you get to be on campus.

8. Make time for self-care and relaxation. 

Spa

The stress of this time of year can take a toll on you both mentally and physically. Taking the time to do a 15 minute face mask or take an extra long shower can make a world of a difference.

9. Give back in your college community. 

With the holidays come many opportunities to volunteer. As a student, you spend most of your year on a campus that may be in a different community than the one you call home. Because of this, it only seems right to give back to the community you've become a part of. UIUC students, be sure to check in with the Office of Volunteer Programs to get started!

10.  Indulge in winter drinks. 

Coffee

Every coffee shop in America seems to have drinks they only sell during the winter. You work hard and deserve to treat yo' self a few times during this ever-stressful segment of the year.

11.  Curl up with a blanket and a book. 

Reading

There's nothing like snow gracefully hitting the ground outside to create the perfect reading environment. Take a short break from your studying-induced panic to enjoy a book you've been dying to read all semester (or year or two... college is rough, man).

12.  Make the most of the time you have left with your friends. 

Friends

Even if you're ready for a break from the people you've been spending all of your time with, you're going to miss them when they're miles, not steps, away from you at any given moment. Cherish the time you have with them—they've probably reached family-status in your life anyway.

It's the most wonderful time of the year—being a college student shouldn't completely hinder your ability to enjoy this marvelous month. Finals don't have to rule your world—winter holidays can play a role in your life right now too.

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21 Beer-rific Instagram Captions For Your 21st Birthday

Because "twenty fun" is old and overused.
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For the past few years, I have seen the same caption on Instagram over and over again about a girl turning 21. Yes, "Twenty fun," is pretty clever, but I'm tired of seeing it. Since my 21st birthday is this week, I was wondering what I should use as an Instagram caption. So, here are 21 Instagram captions that you'll be dying to use for your 21st.

1. R.I.P. Fake ID.

2. Cheers and beers to my 21 years.

3. Do you find me aBOOZing?

4. Pitcher perfect.

5. Hakuna Ma 'Vodka - It means no memories for the rest of your night.

6. Bad and Boozy

7. I make pour decisions.

8. Beer makes me hoppy.

9. IPA lot when I drink.

10. I can finally have a six-pack.

11. Tequila probably won't fix my problems, but it's worth a shot.

12. Sip happens.

13. Let the evening be Gin.

14. Wine not?

15. Whiskey business.

16. Getting into the birthday spirit.

17. If life gives you lemons, add vodka.

18. Here's to the year I won't remember.

19. It's a lot easier to start the day when you know it can now end with beer.

20. Save water, drink beer.

21. Here's to an unBEERleliveable night.

Cover Image Credit: Alexalosey on Instagram

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As I Get Older, I Care Less And Less About My Birthday

It doesn't hold the same meaning as it did when I was younger.

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Every year people celebrate their birthday. It's an exciting day for most as you get some gifts and cake and spend it with friends and family. I used to love my birthday. I loved that on that one day, the spotlight was on me. People had to care about me. As I've gotten older though, I found myself caring less and less about my birthday. It's not a day I get excited about.

I've always had a love/hate relationship with my birthday anyway, given that it's on Valentine's Day. So I've always had to share my birthday with all that love and people wanting to spend it with their partner. I believe that the dislike side has grown as well because as I get older and my friends get older, they are all finding someone to be with or starting a family. Therefore, they have someone they want to spend the day with. They want to celebrate with them, not me. I've always had to battle Valentine's Day.

I believe that once you've hit a lot of major milestone birthdays (i.e first, 16th, 18th, 21st) there isn't much to look forward to. It's just another year added to your life.

You realize more and more that you're just getting older.

I'm generally a simple person as well. I don't want a huge party, I don't want fancy gifts, and I really hate people singing to me. I like having the attention, but hate it at the same time. It's a weird feeling to explain. You want to be loved, but don't want it all at once. I don't want all eyes on me.

Of course, there will always be certain parts of my birthday that I really like and do look forward to. My mom gets me the heart-shaped donuts from Dunkin' every year on my birthday. She never forgets because I don't give her the chance to. I always remind her. I do like the fact that I can ask for something, and more often than not get it because it's my birthday.

I don't mean like big gifts either. I mean that I can ask that we have what I want for dinner. That I can ask my mom to spend some one on one time with me. Simple things that I don't usually get.

I don't hate my birthday, I just don't feel as much excitement as I did growing up. It's just another day of the year.

There's just too much effort you have to put into your birthday as you grow older as well. You usually have to plan something yourself, which I don't want to do. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do because I don't want a party and there isn't anything special I ever wish to do. Even if I did want to plan a party inviting people would be a nightmare and trying to make it work for different people is a hassle.

I just think that as you get older, birthday's just aren't worth the trouble.

So, I've accepted the fact that I just don't care. I will enjoy the little things about it, but I won't make a big fuss. It's just another day.

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