Life Hacks: Midterm-Style

midterms

Tis the season…

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Oh wait, not that season!!

EVEN BETTER: MIDTERMS SEASON!

4E is back and ready to help you combat them. In 2012 we told you some great tips, but have decided with all of the advancement in the world that we needed to elaborate and update our advice to catch up with the times:

  1. Relax. ‘nuf said.

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2. Take Breaks. Here are a few ideas:

Call that one weird uncle we know you have and ask him for life advice.

Prep for the upcoming weekend festivities by teaching yourself the infamous Hoedown Throwdown which is sure to come in handy.

Try to teach yourself a new language. Better yet, make up your own and share it with all your friends via the book of face (read: Facebook)! Then, only communicate using your new language when answering phone calls, texts and instant messages.

3. Make Plans.

Perhaps a full detail layout for your best friends wedding! She didn’t ask you to, but that’s what friends are for, right?

You’ve been assigned a secret mission to trek across the country. How will you do it? By foot, tricycle, a combination of the two? Better start working on logistics.

Maybe you’re concerned about retirement. If so, you could take a brief study break and research all of the possibly nursing homes throughout the world that cater to your specific tastes, accessibility, and climate.

4. Keep Working on Your Fitness.

Our primary suggestion would be to find an open building on campus during a busy time of the day and sprint up and down the stairs repeatedly while chanting a personal mantra or favorite chorus. Should you choose to pursue this phenomenal idea please do so dressed like this:

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5Stay organized. Sock drawer is priority.

6. Naps on naps on naps. (With a little twist). Dare you consider pulling an all nighter you must:

Do it in Lau: capitalize on the misery in anyway you can.

Bring your mattress. (SLUMBER PARTY!)

And Footy PJs.

And your retainer, do not forget your retainer.

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7. Reward yourself. (read: TREAT YO’SELF):

This can be done in a multitude of ways but we advise chocolate, excess carbs, Netflix, dancing, bananagrams, spinny chairs, sweat pants, friendship, rooftops, M street, Chipotle, running (or not running if that’s your thing), real mac n cheese, more footy pjs, people watching, guacamole, Snapchat, Buzzfeed, girl scout cookies, ice cream and so forth…..

Just Don’t Forget to Remember:

A number does not define you or your future.

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 Photos/Gifs: ironwoodcrossfit.com, giphy.com, tumblr.com

Mastering the Movie Night

Movie Night

Every now and then, even the most self-possessed Georgetown students will come to find themselves at the point where they just. Can’t. Even. Whether you’ve been #raging every night or you’ve spent so much time on Lau 5 that you’re starting to develop a fluorescent glow (’cause you know, here on the Hilltop we’re all about the Work-Hard-Play-Hard), what you really need is a healthy dose of downtime. Here at 4E, movie nights are one of our favorite ways to chill out after a long week on the daily grind – and we’re bringing you a list of the best ones, and how to do them right:

The Binge Night

Everything you do on Binge Night must be to absolute excess. Bury yourself in a mountain of pillows, then pick a classic series like Harry Potter or something absurd thrilling like Saw (things really pick up around number IV) and watch it through from start to finish. If you don’t consume at least 4,000 calories – I’m talking a large Domino’s pizza, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s per person, all the Wisey’s cookies (even oatmeal raisin) and a never-ending supply of cool ranch Doritos – you’re doing something wrong. Binge Nights typically end around 4 in the morning, when the last kid standing feebly finds the remote under one of his snoring friends, hits mute and promptly passes out on an empty box of donuts.

Also recommended: the Bourne series, The Fast & The Furious, Mission: Impossible, Transformers, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, the Scary Movies, James Bond

The Disney Night

Coming home to some milk & cookies and a Disney movie is just as satisfying after midterms week as it was back in the 90s after an arduous half-day at kindergarten. Take a trip down memory lane with a timeless pick from the Disney vault like The Lion King, or stay young and hip with the more recent hits like Up, Tangled, and Frozen (FYI: resisting Frozen does not make you cool/hipster). If you’re not into cartoons, there are plenty of awesome Disney Channel Original Movies (#tbt to the kids jumping on the blue film roll) that will make you wish you were ten again, when all your favorite celebs had yet to check into rehab.

Also recommended: Finding Nemo, The Parent Trap, Pocahontas, The Cheetah Girls, High School Musical, The Aristocats, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Holes, The Princess Diaries, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Jungle Book

The Girls’ Night

Girls’ night is romantic comedy central. Grab your closest galpals, bust out the facemasks and copies of Cosmo, and snuggle up to a three-hour gossip sesh/pity party set against the dulcet tones of Dirty Dancing or Sweet Home Alabama. As awesome as Girls’ Night is, tread with care: it will inevitably leave you at best bemoaning the lack of Brads/Leos/Channings in the general DC area, and at worst texting that only semi-attractive kid in your Calc class with the hopes that he might be the Aaron Samuels to your Katie Cady Heron.

Also recommended: The Breakfast Club, Bridesmaids, Step Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, She’s the Man, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, John Tucker Must Die, Pretty Woman, Friends With Benefits

The FTB Night

The male equivalent to the RomCom fest, #ForTheBoys Night involves spending some quality time with your number one bros – no chicks allowed. Testosterone levels will be through the roof once everyone starts doing the Matthew McConaughey Wolf of Wall Street chant in unison whilst snacking on beef jerky.

Also recommended: the Batman trilogy, The Godfather, American Pie, Scarface, Superbad, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds, Animal House, Wedding Crashers, Remember the Titans, Gladiator

The Cultured Night

Cultured Night is the perfect opportunity for you and your friends to revel in the fact that you’re fancy and intellectual, because hey – you’re in college now! Gather round an obscure indie (or something slightly more mainstream) flick like The Grand Budapest Hotel, and dive into some fair-trade organic Trader Joe’s popcorn (the Kettle Corn is seeerrrriously good). You don’t really gets what’s going on, but you still feel really impressed with yourself because would you look at this artsy movie I’m watching!? If you’re feeling really brave, you might just even go foreign. Did someone say Sundance?

Also recommended: Chef, Rust and Bone, Her, The Master, El laberinto del fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth), Mean Streets, Le scaphandre et le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

The Wine Night

For those who are 21 and up, wine can be the perfect complement to a movie night at home.  Just as you drink different kinds of wine with different meals, so too must you carefully choose your grape in accordance with your featured genre.  That said, there is one specific wine-movie pair that stands out above the rest: Reds and Romance.  Let’s face it – it’s a cliché for a reason: crying hysterically over Titanic is so much more rewarding if you’re a little (or a lot) drunk.

Also recommended: The Notebook, Romeo & Juliet, The Last Song, Casablanca, The Fault in Our Stars, The English Patient, P.S. I Love You, The Time Traveler’s Wife

(Note: The principles of the Wine Night can be successfully applied to any of the nights mentioned above).

So those are some of 4E’s tested and approved movie nights. But feel free to gather your friends, grab some snacks and begin your own special movie night tradition!

Gifs: gurl.com, tumblr.com, elitedaily.com, reactiongifs.com; Photo: edu-cdn.com

10 Things You Were Glad You Did Before Going Back to School

Winter breakNow that most of us are back on the Hilltop (sorry to those of you who are getting trolled by the weather), let’s reflect on the things that we were really glad we did on the last day before we returned.

1. Stayed in bed until 2 p.m.

Sleeping Beauty knows what’s up.

2. Wore pajamas the entire day.

Just another thing James Franco and I have in common.

3. Didn’t shower.

Like there was anybody to impress anyway.

4. Ate breakfast for dinner, or anything for dinner, or breakfast for anything.

Breakfast Club gets us.

5. Mindlessly watched Netflix for HOURS.

“Am I doing anything on my last day home? NO!”

6. Ate your last home-cooked meal.

Now just savor the taste of that meal to keep you sane through the weeks until Spring Break.

7. Got spoiled by your parents.

Maybe they aren’t Beyoncé, but they still love you and give you things.

8. Finally showered…

The stink got too real.

9. Stayed indoors the entire day and didn’t get judged.

You and all the friends you’ll ever need.

10. Worried about absolutely nothing.

Sounds about right. I hope you had a good last day of vacation. Welcome back to the Hilltop, Hoyas!

GIFS: tumblr, wormsandgermsblog.com

How It Felt To Go Home for Winter Break

Home-for-the-Holidays-ColoradoCongratulations, Hoyas, you made it through finals. If you are anything like us at 4E, you’re probably already sitting on your couch and binging on Netflix with a plate of food the size of a dwarf planet. Needless to say, it feels great to be home. But just in case you needed reminding how awesome it really is leave for winter break, we retold your homebound journey for you. It went something like this:

When you finished your last final, you questioned if everything was real life. Could you actually be done?

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In a brain-fried daze, you slowly walked back into your room and opened the door. Then you did this:
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But you suddenly realized your train/plane was leaving in an hour and you hadn’t packed anything.tumblr_lv98xhjZEx1r6aoq4o1_500

So you shoved everything humanly possible into your suitcase and ran out the door.tumblr_m7ujvlcv1X1rcp7w8o1_500

And – thank goodness – you made it to the airport/train station. [Insert sigh of relief.]

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Your travelling came and went. Before you knew it, you saw your house. And then it hit you: YOU WERE HOME!

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And then you walked inside your house and everything just felt so good.

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And then you saw your fridge filled with food!

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After that, you realized you had an infinite amount of free time with no homework to do …

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… except listen to Beyoncé’s new album. Over. And. Over. Again.beyonce-1

But wait! You just realized Christmas is coming!excited-1

And, finally, the most amazingly breathtaking thing of all happened: YOU SAW YOUR BED.

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So for the next 14 hours, you looked like this.

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Yeah, that’s basically how it all went down. Enjoy your time off and happy holidays from 4E!

GIFS: tumblr; Photo: backround-pictures.feedio.net

How to De-stress and Get Happy

HappyWith ongoing midterms (and finals around the corner), it’s easy for GU student stress levels to run exceedingly high. All-nighters in Lau can take quite a toll, and sometimes naps – although quite beneficial – just aren’t enough to alleviate the negative effects of the high-workload, fast-paced lifestyle of the Hilltop. For that reason, 4E has compiled a special list of stress relievers that can make every Hoya relaxed and happy.

1. Watch a Disney movie I don’t know what it is – the nostalgia, the opening montage where they show the Cinderella castle, how relatable the characters are to your friends on the Hilltop or even the word “Disney” itself – but something about Disney movies can bring out happiness in everyone. Click here for a complete list in ranked order.

2. Go to the Georgetown waterfront and sit by the Potomac Studies indicate that water has a soothing effect on the mind and can help people to find their zen. Take a moment to relish in the relaxing effects of the Potomac. For an added bonus, sit down and watch the sunset behind the Key Bridge … or grab a relaxing bite at Farmers Fishers Bakers.

3. Play hooky I’m not joking. Sometimes, the best way to avoid the stress of those 200-person lectures is to simply skip class. If you think you won’t be productive or paying attention, you might as well use that time for something more useful. In your newfound free time, try out something on our list or don’t get out of bed. You’ve earned it. (Do not make it a habit, though.)

4. Do something you love doing simply because you love doing it Sometimes college can take away from the hobbies we love the most. Take some time to bring them back into your life. Have a favorite band? Go see them. Want to read a book about 18th century Europe? Do it. Step back from what is required, and look into what you actually need at this moment.

5. Go to a restaurant that has your favorite food For me, it’s the rhubarb pie at Dangerously Delicious Pies on H Street. Take a moment, find your comfort food and seek it out. Your belly will thank you.

6. Talk to someone you haven’t in awhile Nothing feels better than reconnecting with a old friend. Reminisce about good times or plan some new good times. Either way, remove yourself from current stress and invest some time in your friendships.

7. Do something nice for a complete stranger Volunteer your time. Give a compliment. Donate a dollar. Buy a cup of coffee. Swipe someone into Leo’s. A random act of kindness can go a long way, especially to someone you don’t even know (and it will probably make you feel better, too).

8. Spoil yourself That’s right. Spoil your diet. Buy that item of clothing you probably shouldn’t. Order dessert. Fog up the entire bathroom when you take a shower. Sometimes you need to forget the rules and live just for you.

9. Walk (or run) outside Fresh air works wonders on a clouded mind. Get those endorphins pumping on one of our favorite running trails.

10. Smile Research shows that whether real or fake, smiling really makes you happier. Besides, if Simon Cowell can do it, so can you:

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11. [Insert Your Happiness Here] The ball’s in your court. Whatever your methodology, take the time to destress and get happy. We aren’t doctors here at 4E, but hey, we’re ordering you to do it anyway.

Photo: Iagiftshop

Off-Campus Study Spotlight

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While we do attend a particularly beautiful university that bears an eerie, yet exciting resemblance to Harry Potter’s magical wonderland of a school, life on the Hilltop can become overwhelming scarily fast. Trust me, freshmen, during midterms and finals, Lau will transform into a demonic chamber comparable to prison or the psychotic-ridden desert in The Hills Have Eyes and you will want to flee for your life.

Luckily for you, I have a solution to said madness: various nearby oases where you can escape the clutter of homework and people to complete your studies efficiently. While I hate to give away my secret spots, I have faith that my advice will help you all find relaxing places to get those A’s you’re paying $50,000+ a year for. The added benefit of this is that completing your work efficiently will mean freeing up weekend time for shenanigans.

1. Malmaison (3401 K St, NW) You’ll feel like you’ve entered a trendy hipster café in the lower east side of Manhattan where James Franco may be lurking in the corner drinking straight black coffee. My time here is usually divided between eating their particularly herby and fresh tomato and mozzarella panini and watching the strange array of fitness freaks and artsy designers that are denizens to this teashop.

2. Marvelous Market (3217 P St, NW) I’m shocked more people haven’t discovered this place. They have the best sandwiches I’ve ever had in my entire life, there’s an ice cream store next door, and they’ve got a little seating area that really typifies an ideal study environment.

3. Library of Congress (101 Independence Ave, SE) Yes, this one’s for the more avid nerds of Georgetown, but I can promise you firsthand that you will get so much more work done in an hour than you ever thought possible. You’ll find yourself feeling rather smart, efficient and official.

4. Starbucks (3050 K St, NW) This Starbucks – located right next to the Potomac and what in winter is an ice skating rink – is the perfect place to do work. Enjoy a chai, walk by the water, and feel completely secluded from the chaos that can sometimes suffuse our wonderful school.

So relax, Hoyas. Check out some of my favorite study spots and feel free to share yours in the comments below!

Photo: Shannon Walsh/The Hoya

 

 

Sixteen Sweet Study Songs

4E’s Study Sixteen from thehoya on 8tracks Radio.

Studying sucks. Luckily for you, music doesn’t. And for those of you whose friends are distracting you by whispering in Pierce (which is forbidden, but by friends are doing it anyway), you probably need a little chill study music to distract you. Look no farther. These sixteen songs are guaranteed to help you focus and get you through finals happily.

Dull to Pause — Junior Boys This song has been on my study playlist for at least the past two years. Great beats that ride the line between monotonous and beautiful. Which, if you ask me, is the ultimate study song.

Hurricane — MS MR If you didn’t discover this song when the Internet was making Hurrican Sandy playlists, now is your chance. Fall in love with her voice. (This is also thematically relevant for me and my studying for my climate science final).

Pull My Heart Away — Jack Peñate I love Jack’s voice. It’s soothing and oozes emotion, but not so much that you start crying from a mixture of desperation and the song’s emotional power.

Slowdance — Matthew Dear This is actually the ideal study song. I actually wouldn’t be opposed to just listening to this song on repeat until I finish my paper.

Brackett, WI — Bon Iver Justin Vernon’s musical melancholy might be a little too depressing for those of you holed up in cube. But this song’s emotion mirrors the winter outside, so it’s a great study song.

Civilian — Wye Oak This song simultaneously makes me focus and destress. It’s a win-win.

Holocene — Bon Iver It always helps to surround yourself with beauty during desperate times.

Heart Skipped a Beat — The xx and Unfold — The xx Every song by The xx is perfectly tailored for studying. Listen to their past two albums on repeat. This playlist contains a dong from each.

The Mall and Misery — Broken Bells I spent all of my time during winter finals 2011 listening to this song and managed to do well. Here’s hoping this song continues the trend!

Runaway — JMSN This is kind of a mix of study music and hipster baby-making music. It’s helped me focus so far.

Bad Religion — Frank Ocean Love Frank Ocean. After his album’s release this summer, no soothing playlist would be complete without his beautiful voice.

Mariana — Bia Krieger This song is Brazilian, so you won’t understand the words (which always helps with focusing). It also comes from Putumayo’s “Brazilian Lounge” album, and Brazilian lounges seem super chill. We’re all in need of a little carefree Brazilian music right now.

Relax, Take It Easy — Mika The title says it all. Also, love Mika. If you ever want to cry in a music video like you do in a romcom, watch this one. Wouldn’t you want someone to tell you that you were the Origin of Love? That’s actually the biggest compliment I can imagine and if that song doesn’t play on my wedding day I’m going to murder the DJ.

Cruel — St. Vincent Yes, finals are cruel. This song will make you feel better.

Pretty Girl From Michigan — The Avett Brothers I’m in Lau, staring at a pretty girl who may or may not be from Michigan.

Friday Fixat10ns: Lighten Up

Friday Fixat10ns: Lighten Up from thehoya on 8tracks Radio.

Stress is everywhere these days. Exams, essays, late nights at lau – it’s time to lighten up. I was considering dropping a heavy, darker Halloween playlist but this week just isn’t right for it. Leaves are falling, everything is getting a bit more color to it; we need a playlist to match the campus ambience. Just let this one go on your speakers and do whatever you want.

Just a Friend – Biz Markie Any topic can be made light with the right beat and the rights bars. One of the greatest songs on a classic theme: that two-timing skank.

Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin What more needs to be said? The playlist in a nutshell.

Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant This playlist can be misconstrued as a lazy playlist, but this songs proves it all wrong. You can be laid back without being a bum. Get jumpin to this one.

Superstitious – Stevie Wonder The riffs and beat is absolutely jammin. Weather is getting nice and trees are getting pretty, so go outside and nod your head to this one. Classic.

Here Comes Your Man – Pixies And even if you don’t got one, it doesn’t mean you can’t pretend you do! Upbeat, catchy, and a song you wouldn’t mind having stuck in your head.

Fly Like An Eagle – Steve Miller Band I first heard this song while watching Space Jam (one of the greatest films ever made), and got back into it senior year summer. Everybody says the word “chill” is overused, but this song is, no doubt, chill.

Before I Got High – Afroman This playlist does not encourage any sort of illegal behavior, but it does encourage kicking it back with friends and having a good time.

The Bad Touch – Bloodhound Gang One vice for another! Good times all around!

I Want You Back – The Jackson 5 I think any input on my part would detract from the pure beauty of this song.

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley “Every little thing is gonna be alright” – you probably hear this a lot from your friends when you break down while studying. If you don’t, hear it from the man.