Monday, December 19, 2011

The Countdown to Christmas

Hey guys!

Only 6 days until Christmas!! I love this time of year, there are so many wonderful things to look forward to. This year especially, I loved being able to spend "Christmas" at school with my friends before heading home for the break. We had a mini tree, "fire" on Mary's laptop, and of course..presents! Now, the only thing missing is a little snow!

Anyways, here are a few of my favorite things that have happened so far from the holiday season:

Secret Santa "Christmas" with my friends! 

Christmas lights! Here's a picture of Church Street all lit up at night- so pretty!

Searching for and decorating the Christmas tree!
Picking out the tree usually takes forever because we can never all agree on one...but in the end, we always come home with a beautiful tree! Then, it's time to decorate while playing some Christmas music :)

Christmas movies! Elf and The Grinch are two of my favorites...
I've already watched both of these and I've only been home for two days!

...and some things I'm looking forward to:

*Christmas Eve/Christmas Day- Christmas Eve dinner at my grandparents' house is the start of our Christmas celebration, with tons of good food. My favorite though is Christmas morning, the feeling of walking down the stairs and being completely surprised with what's under the tree! Finally, Christmas dinner at my Aunt & Uncle's house...the whole family together & good food..the best way to end Christmas!

* Skiing! Hopefully I'll be doing a little of this over the break..we still need more snow though!!

*New Years! This year, I'm going to my friend Clare's house for New Years! She lives in Connecticut but isn't far from New York City, so we might end up going there to watch the ball cool!

Well, that's all for now...don't forget about Twitter & Formspring!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Ultimate Guide to Finals Week

Hey guys!

Two exams down, one to go! On Monday I had my Philosophy exam and today was Calculus, so all that stands between me and break now is my Media Revolutions final! (Which means I need to head to the library after I'm done with this post)...

Basically, I'm going to walk you through my version of finals week..or in other words, how I've prepared, studied, and overcome the inevitable stress that comes with it all. I'll break it up into 3 parts...

Part 1: Pre-finals weekend
This weekend was absolutely essential in holding onto my sanity. First, it was time to enjoy myself before hitting the books..and what better way than to watch my roommate (and fellow blogger Gabbi who had an awesome solo) in the Aca Bellas concert?! Yay lil' Dev! There were also concerts for the other a cappella groups on campus (Mike Check & Sleepless Knights) can check them all out on the student organizations page.

So, after the Aca Bellas concert I went right back and started studying, right? Nope, not yet! A few hours later was the comedy show put on by the student association! The main act? David Koechner (from Anchorman and The Office)!! The opening comedy acts for him were Kit Rivers (class of '14) and Matt Dwyer. I can't think of a better way to relax and get a few laughs in before finals began!

This brought us into Sunday, otherwise known as the beginning of the never-ending amount of studying. Relaxing and mentally preparing now over..I (basically) moved into the library...which brings me to the next part of finals week...

Part 2: How To Survive Finals Week- My Studying Essentials
From Monday until Thursday (for some, until Friday) studying takes over lives. I can honestly say that I have never studied for a test as much as I have for my finals here. Obviously, I'm not saying this is a bad's actually good, but I've discovered that in order to study effectively, I've come up with a list of my own "studying essentials" which I'll share with all of you.

Studying essential #1- The library
Maybe you're thinking that this is a no-brainer, but before finals week, I had only spent a few hours total in the library. Finals week has given me a whole new perspective on the's absolutely fantastic! My favorite place to go work? The children's book room- big round tables and chairs with really comfy cushions..I spent about 8 hours in there yesterday. Kind of along the same lines as this, a good work space is necessary, which is why I love this room in the library.
Clockwise from top: My work space, the children's book room, and Galya hard at work!

Studying essential #2: Food, drinks, and caffeine!!
In order to stay focused, I always make sure to have a snack with me and a bottle of water. Also, I'm guilty of being a caffeine addict when it comes to studying..but hey, whatever works, right?

Studying essential #3: Flash cards
This may not work for everyone, but flash cards are really one of the only ways I can study effectively. Instead of going through notes and books with pages upon pages of information..flash cards are an easy way to write down & study exactly what you need to know. Plus, I got the multi-colored packs of flash much more fun! :)

Studying essential #4: Gym break
In the midst of all of the stress of finals, it's important to take a break and let yourself de-stress. For me, that means hitting the gym! It's a fact: Exercising is known to relieve stress and make you feel better, mentally and physically. At first you might think, well, working out has nothing to do with studying, but it actually does...part of studying effectively means being able to focus and going into it with a clear mind..which is what taking a gym break does for me. Maybe the gym isn't your thing? Try listening to some music, watch a funny video, drink some tea, breathe deeply, take a quick walk...really, anything!

...and finally...

Part 3: The End of Finals: Celebration
After my Media Rev exam tomorrow, I will officially be done with finals..yay! Since I won't be heading back home until Friday afternoon, there are a few things to do while I'm still here and recovering from my exams...

*CELEBRATE! NO MORE FINALS!! (Until second semester is over...) 
I plan on coming back to the room and blasting some Christmas always makes me feel happier! :)

*Packing..Ok, so this isn't fun by any means, but it's part of the after-finals process, so I feel obligated to include it.

*Secret Santa! All of my friends will be exchanging gifts excited!

*Relax, relax, relax. Finally, the stress of studying will be over..then, it's time for a break filled with family, food, Christmas and New Years celebrations, and nothing to stress over/worry about...

So, there's a look into my finals week. Now, time to go back to the library!
Don't forget- Twitter/Formspring


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Room Revamp

Hi everyone!

We're less than a week until finals (wow) and the stress is beginning to set in. Papers to write, topics to study, calculus formulas to remember (ugh), next week seems like it will be absolutely crazy. Well, bring it on. Maybe I'll need to follow some of my own tips for managing stress? Also, there are some great tips for dealing with stress during pre-finals week on Alyssa's blog and study tips from Gabbi! Anyways, before the chaos of finals week begins, I've decided to do a little room redecorating of sorts, just to change things up a bit and add some more flavor to the room...obviously the tunnel just wasn't enough :)

New wall of pictures...a wonderful distraction!

...and I lofted my bed all the way which adds a TON
of space to the room. I know, not the most exciting
thing ever, but hey, the more space in a dorm room
the better! (Excuse the mess, I seem to be developing
a reluctance to putting things away...)

Although this room project was a lovely distraction, the studying is it's time to get down to business. I can see that my relationship with the library will probably grow much stronger over the next few days...
So basically, if anyone happens to be looking for me, check the gym or the library :)

I'll update you all very soon! For now, don't forget about Twitter & Formspring!