It's Time For Finals, But Don't Worry: You Can Still Kick Start The Holidays

It's Time For Finals, But Don't Worry: You Can Still Kick Start The Holidays

Here are a couple ways you can make this stressful time of year a little more jolly.
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It’s December and everything is getting a little more beautiful here in Atlanta. Lights are going up, the DUC-ling is serving hot cocoa every hour, and it’s almost time to go home after a tough semester. But wait, before you pack up your bags, it’s finals season. Yes, instead of snuggling in with a hot cup of cider, you may want to buy a nice cup of Peet’s dark roast and find a comfy cubby in the stacks.

Not to worry though, here are a couple ways you can fit some holiday cheer into your busy schedule.

1. Make paper snowflakes with literally any paper

Finished your lab practical and have all these notes you’re never going to use again? Make them into snowflakes! Whatever it is; handouts, old newspapers, misprinted essays with typos, and all tests you never want to see again can be made into beautiful works of art with a few snips here and there. If you have glitter

2. Don’t put sugar in your coffee, put a whole packet of hot cocoa powder instead.

Going to the Ducling for some coffee? They have packets of hot cocoa now so why not just make yourself a hot mocha latte. Everything is just a little sweeter with hot chocolate especially around this time of year.

3. Take a ten-minute break and go to the tenth floor of stacks

The weather is beautiful right now and the views from the tenth floor of stacks are breathtaking. Take a break from studying and head up to the tenth floor for ten minutes. While you’re at it plug in some of your favorite holiday music. I highly recommend “Ring in the Season” from Frozen’s new short film.

4. Make some time for family or old friends

It’s been a tough semester away from home, and sometimes camping out in the library surrounded by stressed peers gets a little intense. Take some time to call someone back home and catch up or chat about something other than finals.

5. Twinkling lights, sweets and live wallpapers of falling snow

Liven up with your holiday spirit. Whether you celebrate anything around this time or just love winter. It’s time to break out that ugly sweater before heading out to the library. Or put some lights around your desk. Need a midnight snack? Why not candy canes and chocolate? Don’t have time or money to get anything festive, turn all your digital wallpapers into something fun like falling snow or motley pies.

6. Finals done? Treat yourself!

If you have time head out to the botanical gardens of Atlanta. The lights and garden are gorgeous this time of year. Or you could head down to Atlantic station and go ice skating. After you’re done skating drop by Starbucks and get a white hot chocolate. Don’t have time to go out, stay in and snuggle with a movie. Don’t forget to catch up on sleep and dream of all the fun you’ll be having this winter break.

Cover Image Credit: Wallpaper

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33 Basic Summer Bucket List Ideas For College Girls That Don't SUCK

27. Stay up all night and watch the sun come up
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The weather is finally getting warmer and summer is just two short months away.

The other day I got my first whiff of food being cooked on the way home and it made me think of all the stuff I want to do this summer and what I want to accomplish in the upcoming months. It also made me think about how I make the same promises to myself every year and don't accomplish half of the things I want. So, this year, I decided to make a summer bucket list. I've heard of people doing this and I always thought it was kind of stupid, but I figure writing it down would motivate me more than just thinking, "That would be a nice thing to do."

So here are some things on my summer bucket list and hopefully they inspire you to go out and have the best summer of your life.

1. Find and do a summer exercise challenge

2. Go on a road trip

3. Visit a water park

4. Make fresh-squeezed lemonade

5. Have a water fight

6. Attend at least one outdoor concert

7. Research and apply to internships

8. Start journaling

9. Sign up for a class

10. Spend an afternoon on a boat

11. Read a new book every month of the summer

12. Eat fried dough

13. Attend a fair

14. Spend the day at a beach

15. Roast a marshmallow and make s’mores

16. Host an awesome summer party

17. Go to a drive-in movie

18. Cook something you never cooked before

19. Have an epic movie marathon with friends

20. Go river tubing

21. Reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in a while

22. Eat lunch on a dock

23. Order a new flavor of ice cream

24. Go bowling

25. Take pictures in a photo booth

26. Go shopping on a boardwalk

27. Stay up all night and watch the sun come up

28. Eat pizza by a pool

29. Do a Pinterest craft

30. Ride a four wheeler

31. Big an epic blanket fort

32. Go to an aquarium

33. Lay in the back of a pickup truck

Cover Image Credit: footsloggers_outdoors//Instagram

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Putting Away Christmas

It sometimes feels like the end, but it's not.
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It's probably the worst time of the year for those of us who love Christmastime. At least in the days immediately following December 25th, it's still socially acceptable to listen to your favorite Christmas carols, keep your Christmas lights plugged in, and enjoy your tree and decorations.

But, sometime after New Years, the day inevitably comes when the celebration of the Christmas season must give way to the next one. Whether you throw your tree out promptly on January 1st, wait for the official changing of the Christian liturgical season at Epiphany (January 6th), or just take everything down when you have time, there's a definite sadness that accompanies the un-decorating process.

First, there's the sheer amount of work involved in taking everything down and packing it away for next year. It takes time and effort to locate every tiny ornament hidden in the boughs of your Christmas tree, tenderly wrap each fragile figurine in a Nativity set, and untangle the many strands of lights that illuminated your yard all December. We spend hours putting everything away, not to mention vacuuming tree needles and glitter off of the rug.

Once everything is safely stored in the basement or garage, of course, it's guaranteed that we'll find one last decoration that we completely forgot about, meaning that we have to somehow make space for it in one of the already-overstuffed boxes of ornaments and tinsel and lights. It can all be pretty overwhelming.

Christmas teardown is also a reminder of just how much stuff we accumulate, and just how little of it we really need or care about. Now is probably a good time to get rid of some of it so that we'll have less to store, put up, and take down next year, but often in our mourning for the ending of the Christmas season, we find it difficult to part with almost anything. We make mental pacts with ourselves not to buy any more decorations next year, but then immediately break our resolutions when we see the cute little nutcracker ornaments on a great sale a week after Christmas, or when all the new decor begins to appear in stores the following October.

And of course, there's the essential fact that putting away Christmas decorations means the ending of one of the most beautiful, festive, and happy times of the entire year. The decorations in the stores and around town gradually disappear, the number of family gatherings and parties on our calendars begins to dwindle, school and work resume as vacations end. Everyone and everything just seems a bit less jolly as the bleak wintry weather of January sets in.

But even in the face of a long winter devoid of Christmas cheer, there's still hope. There's hope for exciting holidays ahead, like sweet, romantic Valentine's Day or joyous Easter Sunday. There's hope for changes in weather, like potential snowfall and the eventual coming of spring, when the earth will finally come back to life in flowers and birds and trees and EVERYTHING. And for those who celebrate the coming of Christ at Christmas, there's the promise that Immanuel, the presence of God With Us, doesn't go away even when we've put away our manger scenes and stopped listening to O Holy Night.

Before we know it, Christmas will be just around the corner once again, and we'll get to enjoy our favorite holiday traditions and celebrations sooner than we think. Even though lovers of Christmas will never not struggle when Christmastime comes to an end, we can take comfort in the fact that the cycle of the seasons continues, bringing so many other things to enjoy until Christmas comes again.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Corso

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