How to Survive Black Friday Shopping

Black FridaySo, you’ve decided to shop on Black Friday. You’re doing one of those activities, something that will be miserable during the event itself but will give you mad bragging rights later, like a presidential inauguration or being awake for a sunrise. Unless of course, you are of those people who loves the thrill of chasing after the perfect dress with the added challenge of overwhelming crowds. This may be the only time you are at risk for “death by trampling,” so watch out.

All of that being said, if you are going in, you better do it right. Here are a few tips to help you survive a dark – but hopefully fruitful – Black Friday.

Plan ahead – Think Dora the Explorer’s Map. It would be ideal if this map could speak, preferably in some variation of entertaining banter, and help guide you from store to store, section to section, steal to steal. Hitting the streets without a game plan is like walking into a wall-to-wall crowded Steve Madden store blindfolded. It may seem thrilling, but once you are tripping in your must-have 20% off shoes and rubbing elbows with the nearby elderly woman, you will be asking yourself why this ever seemed like a funny idea.

Be aggressive – For those of you who haven’t seen the Friends scene where Monica shops for her wedding dress, watch it. For those of you who have, channel Monica’s aggressive, stop-for-nothing “baditude.” Remember, other shoppers are only as scared of you as you are of them. Just kidding, that only applies to rats on Georgetown’s campus. If you want to be the shopper on top, you have to act like the shopper on top. See the store as your very own Hunger Games arena. Stop at nothing. This is not a friendly team exercise.

Use the buddy system – Black Friday shopping may not be a friendly team exercise, but that doesn’t mean you have to fly solo. Create a buddy system and stick to it. Have check-in points, hold hands, whisper sweet nothings to each other: whatever it takes to provide each other moral support and willpower to get through the day. When selecting a buddy, make sure you choose someone who isn’t afraid to take a swing at a fellow BFS (Black Friday Shopper) for you.

Snack, snack, snack – Shopping is work. Just ask anybody who has spent more than 10 minutes shopping ever. Not only are snacks necessary for fuel, but they also help fill your emotional needs when crying over a missed deal and/or feeling overwhelmed by all the aggressiveness around you. Why can’t we all just be friends? Because there is only one dress in your size left. Instead of breaking down, stuff your face with cookies, bubble tea or whatever helps you connect with your inner shopper. But be warned, if you overdo this, trying on tight clothing may be a bit of a struggle.

If you follow these tips, you are sure to have the best possible Black Friday experience. Before you know it, you will be rocking those sick new threads back on the Hilltop. Happy Thanksgiving Hoyas, and best of luck!

Photo: Al Fresco

Halloween Movies for Easily Scared Souls

Halloween Movies For Easily Scared SoulsIt’s that time of year again, Hoyas. I’m not talking about the fall, though you have already been warned about them. I’m not talking about the never-ending midterms, and I’m not talking about the equally frightening flu season. Instead, this special part of October marks the beginning of three consecutive, holiday-filled months, starting with Halloween. For some, Halloween signifies a time filled with tricks and terror, a time when your fear consumes you and a time when you relish every moment of it.

However, there are those of us who prefer the treats rather than the tricks during this fall holiday season. We are people who hold the blanket close to our faces during each Halloween horror film that our friends insisted on watching. We are the people who then proceed to not sleep the next few days thanks to the enduring images of a vengeful dead (and/or psycho) girl or a physically impossible monster that suddenly seems a little less impossible because a movie just made us believe it actually exists. If you can relate to any or all of these moments, take comfort in knowing that during this (occasionally difficult) holiday season there are still some movies out there for you. Here’s a couple of movie suggestions that will get you in the Halloween spirit without keeping you up in terror for all of November:

1. The Addams Family Da da da dum (snap, snap). Follow the lives and quirky dynamics of a family that embraces the ghoulish side of life. Let’s be honest, who does not love them a little bit of Cousin It?

2. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Never have I found a reason not to watch a Peanuts show. Also, this movie has one of my favorite scenes ever – the one where Linus writes his letter to the Great Pumpkin.

tumblr_mu0bpvs3M31shef9yo1_500

3. The Harry Potter Series For most, these movies encompassed most of our childhoods (maybe even now, too). Nonetheless, Halloween provides an especially accommodating atmosphere for wizards and their magical world. Fair warning, though, you may experience a relapse of these feelings.

4. Hocus Pocus A Disney channel classic, this movie follows the return of some 17th century witches, who you love to hate and hate to love, into the 20th century.

5. The Nightmare Before Christmas Is this a Halloween movie if it has Christmas in it? Oh well. Throw in skeletons, ghosts and pretty much anything created by Tim-Burton, and your Halloween quota has been filled.

6. Casper I’ll let this speak for itself (What could be cuter?):Casper-the-Friendly-Ghost-Pictures7. Ghostbusters Watch the entertaining journeys of the recently fired Drs. Venkman, Stantz and Spengler as they rid Manhattan of all its ghosts and demons. Who ya’ gonna’ call?

With Halloween less than a week away, feel free to suggest any one of these classic films that not only embrace the holiday spirit but let you enjoy it too! Happy Halloween Hoyas!

Photo: BeliefNet

Long Weekend Ho! How to Make the Best of a Long Weekend

How To Make The Best Of A Long WeekendLooking forward to a long weekend is similar to counting down the days before Christmas or Hanukkah, or maybe a slightly less significant holiday like St. Patrick’s Day. (Deputy Editor’s note: I highly contest that St. Patrick’s Day is a “less significant holiday,” and I would even move to have it placed with the aforementioned days in terms of degree of importance.) All students have the long weekend circled on their calendar and we all know that that extra day means everything during midterm season.

success-baby-long-weekend-aww-yeaaWith many years of school under our belts, we students like to think we know how to approach the long weekend: another night to go out, another morning to sleep in and maybe (only for the truly ambitious or the truly swamped in work) some extra study time. But the three day weekend can zoom by as fast as Netflix marathons on a lazy afternoon, so it can be useful to come in with a strategy or a set of goals. With Columbus Day weekend upon us, here are some tips on how to make the best of the next three days:

1. Take the opportunity to explore D.C. For new and veteran students alike, the long weekend is a great chance to get out of your rooms and off campus. Walk to a new restaurant so you can work off the meal afterward or visit a museum. Don’t let the shutdown get you down; the Smithsonian is still pretty cool looking in from the outside, and the Newseum is still open.

2. Don’t listen to Nas; sleep is not the cousin of death, at least for overworked students The long weekend is exciting, but don’t be afraid to sacrifice time hanging out with your buddies to remedy the all-nighters you pulled this week for those three midterms and two papers. You’ll have sweet dreams of A’s and A+’s with frosting on top.

3. The long weekend is as much of your friend as it is an enemy Friday will trick you into thinking you’ve got an eternity to do what you want with your free time. Saturday will say, “Hey, homework is for Sundays, but don’t forget football,” and Monday morning will quickly turn into the annoying “I told you so” when you haven’t studied, done your laundry or cleaned your room.

4. Do. Your. Laundry. We know you’re wearing the same socks that you wore yesterday because midterms have kept you from getting your laundry done. This long weekend is a great chance to expand your wardrobe back to its proper size.

5. Finally, in the spirit of the holiday, make your Columbus Day and long weekend worthwhile Find the balance between studying and going out, between eating and exercise and between college football and the NFL. Toast friends, family and fall, and raise your glasses to the long weekend.

Photos: Vacation-Lovers, Rungitom

That One Time I Got Lost In The Woods…

The Potomac Heritage TrailIt feels so great to be back on the Hilltop. While I missed a lot of things during my summer absence, one of the things I missed the most was the exhilarating feeling of running in D.C.

I’ll admit, I’m not a running aficionado, but there’s something about the running culture of the District that even makes someone like me want to get away from campus and take a nice jog.

So, I did what any sensible person would do. I put on my Nike sneakers and went to 4E’s running guide for some inspiration. I chose to start off with the Teddy Roosevelt Island run. After all, as Martin Hussey wrote in his piece, it’s flat, easy and enjoyable. Piece of cake, I thought, as I set off on my jogging adventure.

But as I ran down the ramp in Rosslyn, I was soon overtaken by my own curiosity. Instead of turning right and heading toward the foot bridge leading to the Island, the little voice inside my head, combined with the thumping electro-pop of Lady Gaga’s “Applause”, told me to turn left…so I did.

Before I knew it, my 3 mile run to Teddy Roosevelt Island became a 10 mile hike on the Potomac Heritage Trail. I ended up hiking to the Chain Bridge and taking the C&O Towpath back to campus. By the end of the afternoon, I had two insanely sore calves and some breathtaking photos of the experience.

For this article, I wanted to share some of these photos and, more importantly, I wanted to give five quick pointers on how to avoid the sore calves and have a pleasant Potomac hike.

1. Bring water and a granola bar I was clearly unprepared for my mini-trek into the wilderness. After all, I thought I was going on a short run to Teddy Roosevelt Island, not a nature hike. However, it’s probably a good idea to bring a little snack and drink to stay fueled up and hydrated.

2. Wear high socks and/or hiking shoes Some areas of the trail involve crossing small streams and working your way through brush. I’m not saying it’s a must, but some sensible footwear will make your hike a lot more enjoyable.

3. Bring a nice camera The sights along this trail are incredible (see below). This type of journey doesn’t just warrant some snaps on an iPhone camera (even if it is the new 5S or 5C). Bring along a nice backpack and pack in your new Nikon complete with zoom lens. You won’t be disappointed.

4. Wear sunscreen Although you might be only hiking in intermittent sun, this trail still gives a little bit of color. Just a word to the wise for the fair-skinned.

5. Bring friends This is the most important tip I can give. The views are unbelievable and there is even a tree you can climb and sit on while looking over the Potomac. It’s perfect for a small picnic or even some fishing poles to cast a line. Don’t be like me and wander into the woods alone– take advantage of this beautiful trail and share it with those you love. Oh, and check out my photos below.

[dmalbum path=”/wp-content/uploads/dm-albums/Nature Hike/”/]

The 12 Things That Will Likely Happen On Your First Day at Georgetown

12 things

Every Hoya has their own one-of-a-kind experience on the first day of college. Some Hoyas make life-changing journeys across continents to come here to the Hilltop while others travel only minutes from their homes in D.C.

The first day is filled with unbelievable new experiences, new schools, new people, new classes, new cultures, new languages, new friends — the list is endless. And ultimately, all Hoyas have their own special story of the very first day they spent here at Georgetown.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’ll leave that to our friends at Project Day1. Instead, we’re going to go over a few first day basics that will probably happen to every Hoya when he or she arrives. Here are The 11 Things That Will Likely Happen On Your First Day at Georgetown:

1. You’ll pull up and see an insane wave of activity on the Hilltop. Between the move in crew, the Residence Hall Office workers helping you check into your room, the orientation advisors and captains, on top of all of the other tons of freshmen and freshmen parents moving in, It might seem a bit overwhelming.

2. You’ll see your dorm room new home for the first time! Whether it’s Harbin, Darnall, Village C West, Village C East or New South, there will something about your dorm that feels just right. Not to mention the company will be great…

3. …Because you’ll meet your roommate for the first time. Remember that intense period over the summer where you CHARMS-ed your head off looking for “the one?” Remember how you stalked all of your potential matches until you were ready to “pop the question?” And remember the sweet feeling of joy and love and connection when you realized that you would be living with this person for the rest of your life freshman year? Well, everything you did comes down to this moment. You will meet your roommate today and try to keep an open mind!

4. But you’ll also awkwardly pass that person that you declined on CHARMS and it might look something like this:tumblr_mby1h01xPH1r8588co1_500

5. Similarly, you’ll encounter the person on the GAAP page who was posting 24/7. Although they seemed super cool, witty and confident online, in real life he/she actually looks like this:awkward

6. But not Georgetown President John DeGioia. He’s not one for awkward interactions. You’ll probably meet him on your first day and learn to love him just like the rest of us Hoyas.washingtonian_photo_john_degioia

7. Speaking of people we love on campus, you’ll also probably meet a few Jesuits. Be sure to make friends with them: Not only are they brilliantly smart and funny, they also might invite you to the Jesuit Residence (JesRes) for dinner. And rumor has it that the food there is “divine.” (See #4 for how I feel about that pun.)

8. You’ll also start meeting what seems like a billion new people. And all of them are going to ask the same things: Where are you from? What school are you in? Where are you living? What do you want to study? How often do you read 4E? After a while, it starts to feel like this:tumblr_mjg3hcvtgT1rfwgx5o1_500

(Except for the 4E part. We really are always fascinating.)

Since you’ll be meeting all of these new people, it’s going to be hard to get all of the names straight. As difficult as it is, make a real effort to remember as many as you can. It can really go a long way.

9. But, everyone else is meeting this many people also. So on your first day, you’re bound to have someone you’ve already met forget your name and you will forget someone else’s. It’s natural and everyone understands since they’re all going through the same thing!

10. At the end of your first day, you’ll feel completely exhausted. After all, you just went through a whirl of meeting and greeting and unpacking! Again, everyone feels that way so it’s alright!

11. But instead of going to bed, you’ll probably stay up and talk with your roommate and your floor, and then you’ll go exploring all over campus to some of the great NSO activities (Maybe you’ll take a dip in Dahlgren Fountain or sit on John Carroll’s lap for good luck?)

12. But you’ll realize that you just finished the first day of the best four years of your life.

alg-georgetown-drug-jpg

Hoya Saxa and Welcome to the Hilltop!

This has been a collaborative effort with with the University’s Project Day1, which seeks to capture the incredibly diverse stories of GU students of their journeys from their hometowns to the Hilltop. To get involved and share your unique move-in story with Project Day1, click on the link here and follow the instructions on their page. Be sure to post about your #GeorgetownBound journey on Facebook and Twitter, and also remember to post your #ProjectDay1 videos on Vine and Instagram. You could even win free lunch for a month at Sweetgreen or Luke’s Lobster! 

Photos: GifNinja, Tumblr, Georgetown University, GifSoup, NY Daily News