4E’s Thanksgiving Countdown

It doesn’t seem valid to get excited year after year about a holiday that in truth commemorates our subjugation of native peoples and destructive colonial ways, but let me tell you: I am excited for Thanksgiving break.

You may ask me, “What could be so exciting about five days in central New Jersey?” Well, first of all, New Jersey is the most underrated state. Second of all, a brief reprieve from midterms is exactly what I need to restore my sanity.

Please join me on a ~journey~ to cozy, fall-time feels. Whether you’re travelling home for Thanksgiving or not, these activities should allow you to start healing that part of your soul that a semester-long midterm season has sucked out of you.

First, play this song for maximum reading experience.

Day 1: Nov. 5

Divine your Thanksgiving horoscope. What’s in the stars for you this year? If you’re going home, will you finally hook up with your high school crush? Will you get taken to the hospital with an irreversible food coma? Only one way to find out…

Day 2: Nov. 6

Go vote. If you haven’t voted yet, please motivate yourself with the thought of Great-Grandma Pat’s wrath when you tell her you abused the right she fought so hard for back when they only showered like once a week or whatever. This way, when your family members start arguing at the dinner table, you’ll be able to validate the opinions you’ve honed in all of those SFS classes by proving that you’re an active participant in our democracy.

Day 3: Nov. 7

Plan out your plate. Everyone knows that going into the holiday meal without an attack plan is a fool’s errand. Use the below image to prevent future discomfort and maximize future deliciousness.

Image result for thanksgiving plate outline

Day 4: Nov. 8

Get the 411 on those crazy relatives you’re afraid to see. Call your mom. You should probably do this anyway, but for your own safety, ask her to give you an update about Aunt Linda’s “situation” so you’re not blindsided on the big day.

Day 5: Nov. 9

Start filling up your shopping carts. Two weeks before Black Friday, go against your better judgment and let those natural consumer instincts run wild. I’ve never actually shopped on Black Friday before, but I like to imagine that filling up online shopping carts is just as good.

Day 6: Nov. 10

Check out those fall colors. Get out of your musty apartment for once and take a walk somewhere in the city — it’s actually very beautiful here and we tend to take that for granted too often.

Day 7: Nov. 11

It’s cuffing season. Have you found your big/little spoon yet? It’s getting pretty chilly outside; you should probably get on that.

Day 8: Nov. 12

Convince your dad that a turducken is a bad idea. Tell him the hard truth: 55 is too old to spice things up, especially with the multi-meat equivalent of the Human Centipede. Like him, sometimes oldies are goodies — no more of this millennial nonsense.

Day 9: Nov. 13

Start packing. I’m serious. If you do it this far in advance, you’ll avoid that last-minute packing nightmare in which you somehow only bring home booty shorts, a turtleneck and over-the-knee boots.

Day 10: Nov. 14

Do something ~cute~ with your friends. Make a pie. Drink some chai. Discuss the best moisturizing strategies for preventing dry winter skin (non-spon but pls check out this account @dewydudes). Put aside homework for a sec and appreciate the value of good, wholesome fun.

Day 11: Nov. 15

Come up with a fake major to get your grandparents off your back. They don’t understand that you’re not wasting their money; you’re just finding yourself. So, pose as a Future Government Official/Investment Person to get out of hot water with the old folks.

Day 12: Nov. 16

Learn how to play football (?). I’m very thankful that my family does not maintain this tradition, but if yours does, it’s probably time to tighten up that spiral. Who knows, maybe you’ll get concussed and won’t have to take any more exams!

Bradley Cooper in “A Star is Born,” 2018 (colorized).

Day 13: Nov. 17

Thank your roommate(s). Whether you’re best friends or mere living partners, be grateful to this person for putting up with you. This way, your inability to wash dishes and sexiling habits won’t weigh heavy on your conscience over the break.

Day 14: Nov. 18

Friendsgiving! Get together with all of your friends for one last hurrah before going your separate ways. A group dinner feat. Leo’s turkey and mashed potatoes never looked so cute.

Day 15: Nov. 19

Watch the twurkey dance. This is a good distraction that will get you hype for the holiday.

Day 16: Nov. 20

What? Sorry. I’m already gone. If possible, remove yourself mentally and/or physically from the Georgetown environment. This could be done in the form of a really long nap, ripping up a blue book — you name it.

Hoya Saxa! I’m grateful for you <3

Sources: festival-collection.com, giphy.com, youtube.com, people.com

The 10 Phases of Packing

packing

Unless you commute to school or live ridiculously close to campus, you’ve experienced the struggle. Somehow you managed to bring all of your precious belongings to school, so why does it always seem that when you try to pack at the end of the year the amount of stuff has doubled?

Each year I tell myself that I’m going to pack lighter next time, but it never actually happens. And now, during the summer, as we pack up to return to D.C. for the summer or vacation, we all face the hassle that is packing. As I inevitably struggle with all of my belongings and question my existence within the human race as I realize how materialistic we all are, I typically go through the following phases:

1. The Optimist This phase of “Hey, it’s not so bad” and “I’ll be done in a jiffy!” Usually ends immediately after opening your closet.

2. The Neat Freak As impending doom sets in you figure the best way to tackle it is to stay organized and maintain a system.

3. The Rebel You give up on the system about two seconds after you start it.

4. The Faker At this point you’ve gone through three phases — with nothing to show for it — so you pretty much put anything anywhere as long as it looks like packing.

5. The Napper Extraordinaire It’s only been like four minutes of packing but whatever.

6. The Foodie Carbs and protein, you know, for the heavy lifting. (Not to be confused with the procrastination phase, though the two are inextricably intertwined.)

7. The Procrastinator Probably a good time to catch up on Full House right? No? OK well I’m doing it anyway.

8. The Crier It’s been 12 HOURS now and you only put two shirts in a suitcase so far. There are a lot of emotions happening. Get your stuff together.

9. The Real Person Who Takes Over Your Body for a While to Actually Pack There are tears, sweat, phone calls to loved ones and sometimes a little blood. But you CAN and WILL do it.

10. The Reflector Now that victory has been achieved, you realize that you have to unpack everything as soon as you get to your destination. You realize how much easier it would be if you just never went anywhere. You promise to never get so disorganized again. Just know, you won’t keep these promises.

Happy packing!

Voy a Quito

watchcourtneyHola Georgetown friends! I hope you all are having an amazing time raging, sleeping and possibly working? (I am so sorry)

I am a huge proponent of adventurous summers — I tried sitting around and working last year and almost lost my mind.

As you all should know, I am going abroad to Turkey in the fall. So, naturally, I had to make my summer the epic pregame to my legendary Fall semester.

Yes, thats right. Today I will being heading down to Quito, Ecuador, for a fabulous six weeks! You are jealous, I know. It is completely understandable.

I needed to do summer study abroad because I need to become proficient in Spanish (#SFS). Thankfully, my trip is one of the coolest things ever and will be anything BUT boring.

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Crazy beautiful, right?

However, preparing for such an extravaganza is not as easy as it might seem. I have had the most difficult time packing, unpacking, shopping and re-packing again. It’s an endless cycle.

Making sure I have everything for Ecuador is like the Olympics of packing. The weather where I will be staying varies from around 50 to 85 degrees. And then, I also have to pack for both the jungle and the Galapagos. My wardrobe is seriously damaged. Hopefully all my preparation will pay off and I’ll survive this Hunger Games of dressing. And if not, you can pay your respects at Los Cuates with some guac.

While I will miss my family, friends and of course my fans (cue hair flip), I cannot wait for this adventure. I will be speaking only Spanish for around 40 days. Can I do it? ¿Dónde está la biblioteca?

Photos: http://500px.com/photo/9313873/quito-by-denise-gushue, 100beautifulplaces.tumblr.com

Fixat10ns: The Perfect Packing Playlist

Packing to go back to school is a task that you are probably better off doing little by little, but  inevitably you will procrastinate and cram it all into the hours just before leaving.  Here is a playlist to get you through the struggle of shoving 5 suitcases-worth of clothes into only three.

So Good – B.O.B Whether you’re coming from nearby Maryland or all the way from Paris, B.O.B’s 2012 hit will get you excited about traveling

One Week – Barenaked Ladies Not only is it extremely catchy and upbeat, but it’s also a friendly reminder that you will soon be back at school (and have a limited time to pack)!

The Opposite of Adults – Chiddy Bang Here’s a song to simply get you ready to go back to school and get amped to hit the party scene again.  It’s upbeat, the bass bumps, and it’s all about having fun.

Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked – Cage the Elephants Packing can be daunting, but as the lyrics of this song suggest, nothing in the world is free. You have to keep on trucking to get back to the glorious Hilltop.

Mr. Jones – The Counting Crows Not much needs to be said for this one, as it is just a good song to sing along to, and one that generally puts a smile on anyone’s face.

Shake Me Like a Monkey – Dave Matthews Band Just like Mr. Jones, this is just an upbeat and fun song that will help take your mind off of packing, and having to sit inside instead of enjoying every last minute of summer.

Take It Easy – The Eagles While all of your packing does need to get done, it shouldn’t be something that you freak out about.  Take some advice from The Eagles and take a deep breath.

A Little Less Conversation – Elvis Presley The King turned out a great packing hit with this one, as the song is fast paced, and is a subtle reminder to quit messing around and just get your suitcases filled, so you can go out and have more fun.

A Little Party Never Killed Nobody – Fergie Another song to get you excited to get back to Georgetown, see your friends, and realize that the struggle of packing was totally worth it.

No Such Thing – John Mayer Most of John Mayer’s songs, while upbeat, also have a calming effect, which can’t be overrated while flying around to do last minute preparations.

The Boys of Summer – Don Henley At some point during every packing frenzy, there is time for reflection, and the realization that another summer has come to an end.  Don Henley’s summer classic is a great way to look back on all the fun you had during the summer.

Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root And you’re finally done packing! Say goodbye to your hometown, and hello Georgetown, because it is time to go.

Surviving Senior Week (If You Aren’t Actually a Senior)

SENIOR WEEK

So, you’re still here.

Finals are over. Most of your friends have moved out. Your room is a shadow of its former self, your Pulp Fiction/Animal House/Bob Marley posters and big-screen TV packed away in a Corp Storage box somewhere.

It’s Senior Week, the aptly named period at the end of the year when the soon-to-graduate class gets campus mostly to itself, with no classes to worry about and a plethora of university-sponsored activities to enjoy.

But whether you’re trying to make some extra cash at an on-campus job or helping a club finish its end-of-year projects, you’re just one of many underclassmen sticking around for the week. With classes done and club commitments pretty relaxed in most cases, chances are you’ve got a ton of free time and next to no idea what to do with it.

Don’t be too jealous of the seniors: Just because you don’t get a keg party at Leo’s or a black-tie ball at Union Station doesn’t mean you can’t have an awesome week. Follow a few simple rules and you’ll find yourself wondering why everyone doesn’t stay late:

FIND A HOUSE
If you’re here for a club or work, chances are you know a few co-workers still on campus. Find one that has a townhouse, or at least a big apartment.

This serves two purposes:

1. With Leo’s closed until summer school starts, this week provides a prime opportunity to work on your culinary skills. Cooking is much more fun with a bunch of friends in a house than it is in your common room.
2. It’s not fun (or legal) to fit 25 people and a keg in a Southwest Quad dorm room.

Even if you aren’t into big parties, it’s important to have a home base for people to convene at nights, whether it’s for a potluck dinner or a movie showing (The Georgetown Retaliation, anyone?) University townhouses are best, but a Henle or Village B will work in a pinch.

PACK YOUR STUFF
Seriously, do it. No matter how many times you tell your friends that you’re better at packing when you’re drunk anyway, frantically attempting to shove all your belongings into a suitcase at 4 a.m. the morning of your flight is really, really not fun. Try to pack some of your belongings every day, so by the end of the week all that’s left is this week’s laundry.

When you inevitably figure out that you can’t fit all your clothes and other accumulated crap into two suitcases and a backpack, be sure to donate your unwanted possessions to a move-out drive rather than the dumpster.

BREAKING THE BUBBLE, PART 1
This is where we’d normally tell you to go see a Washington Nationals game. Unfortunately, D.C.’s boys of summer are on a West Coast road swing until NEXT WEDNESDAY. While Nats games are a blast, we don’t recommend flying to San Diego this week to see one.

Seriously, though, there’s nothing like a baseball game on a warm summer night. A river taxi runs from the Georgetown Waterfront to Nationals Park most nights, so it’s easy to avoid the overstuffed Green Line. If you stay late in future years, be sure to catch at least one game.

BREAKING THE BUBBLE, PART 2
“Get out of the Georgetown bubble!” is one of the most repeated and least followed pieces of advice most Hoyas will encounter during the school year. It’s understandable, really — we all know D.C. has a lot to offer beyond the front gates, but we’re too tied up with homework, extracurricular commitments and friends to take advantage of it during the year.

Well, you’re in luck. Use your time this week in between work and partying (trust us, there’s time) to get out in the city.

-If by some absurd confluence of events you haven’t already walked to the monuments with your friends, do that. Seriously, they’re awesome.
-Rent a paddleboat or canoe and go out on the Potomac. We do not endorse the legally questionable practice known as “cabrewing” — in which participants bring beer to drink on the river — but its existence should be noted.
-Take the Blue Line to Alexandria’s Old Town district, where you can hang out with some beer and wings while watching Revolutionary War re-enactors march up and down the street, or check out the awe-inspiring George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
-Go visit a Smithsonian (they’re free) or the Newseum (not free, but 100 percent worth the price of admission).

If you’re not feeling especially adventurous, use your newfound free time to go out for a nice dinner with friends right here in Georgetown. Taj of India, Bangkok Joe’s and Thunder Burger are just a few of the spots you may have missed if you didn’t make it past Wisconsin Ave. this year.

GO TO LAU
*ducks to avoid barrage of textbook projectiles* KIDDING! I WAS KIDDING!

All jokes aside, enjoy your Senior Week, Hoyas!

Photo: Alexander Brown/The Hoya

Pack It Up, Pack It In

Pack it up pack it in

With finals coming to a close, only two real struggles of the school year remain: figuring out when all your friends are leaving so you can remember to say goodbye and packing up your entire life and moving out.

If you’ve lived in the same place since August, you probably don’t even realize just how much stuff you have in such a small space. So here are some tips for getting the most into your limited packing space

NOTE: Most of my packing experience comes from packing suitcases for flying cross-country – but I’ve done it A LOT. If your parent is driving down to pick you up, I’m pretty sure you just stuff as much as you can fit into the car until you run out of stuff, which is a lot less complicated than making sure none of your suitcases weigh over 50lbs.

The Basics

  • Actually fold your clothes. Crumpling them up and shoving them into random corners is only to be used in extremely dire circumstances. 
  • When it comes to T-shirts, fold them lengthwise and roll them from top to bottom and pack those last in the little crevices left from other things.
  • Use the pockets. Your suitcase extra has pockets for a reason. Stuff them with whatever fits!
  • Throw away what you don’t need.

Safety in Layers Need to pack mugs or other more fragile things? First, fold your blankets and sweaters and other fluffy-like things, and put the breakable stuff between the layers. That way they don’t take up extra space and your stuff is more protected. The downside of this is that your boxes and suitcases get deceptively heavy very quickly so be prepared to call in reinforcements when you actually have to move them.

It’s All About the Shoes Put all the extra empty space in your boots, sneakers and other miscellaneous footwear to good use by stuffing them full of your socks and underwear. It may seem silly, but there’s a surprising amount of space you aren’t taking advantage of in there that you might as well use.

Overdressed to Impress…ed  I have developed the habit of flying in my Hunter rainboots. Is it horribly inconvenient at security to have to take them off in a timely manner? Absolutely. Do I look ridiculous when I step off the plane in Southern California? The most ridiculous. But the space I save in my limited checked luggage by wearing the rubber behemoths, as well as multiple layers of fleece jackets and cardigans more than makes up for the hassle and embarrassment. It’s about efficiency, not comfort, people.

A Balanced Approach When you pack up your bedding – mattress pad, comforter, pillows etc. – don’t put them all in the same box. If you do, that one box will be nice, light and easy to carry, but any others will weigh an absolute ton. Distribute these so you have a lot of manageable boxes, instead of a few that are nearly impossible and a few that could be lifted with your pinky.

In the end, as long as you are able to get yourself completely moved out of your room or apartment in time, it doesn’t really matter how it gets done. Just zip those bad boys up and don’t think about it again until you unpack at home and find four articles of your roommate’s clothing stuck between yours.