5 Ways to Get in the Holiday Spirit at College

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Here at 4E, we rejoice in all things Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza-related. Not even the soul-crushing Grinch that is Lau during finals can bring down our holiday spirits. This week, we did some Pinterest trolling (instead of our long list of papers) for the best DIY ways to celebrate the holidays at college and spread some joy.

tumblr_myckldVOnf1rawb5do1_5001.  Drink Nutella Hot Chocolate

Why waste precious Facebook stalking study time on the last-call Mug line (#ugh) when you can make your own unbelievably good – and easy – hot chocolate? Seriously, this is doable even in a common room kitchen. Just heat milk until steaming in a saucepan on medium-high heat, then whisk in two tablespoons of Nutella until dissolved. Pour in a thermos, add some whipped cream and chocolate syrup, and you’re ready to go! Buddy the Elf approved.

nutella-hot-chocolate-tall2 2.  Make Holiday Cookies

This next one is slightly more complicated, but equally delicious. Nothing says “Ho Ho Ho” quite like Christmas cookies. If you don’t lose your self control at the sight of Pillsbury’s holiday themed slice-and-bakes, something is wrong with your childhood (or you’re just not an obese American #sorrynotsorry).

tumblr_lebsdnhbUK1qfpcniFor those with more gourmet tastes, we recommend these hot cocoa cookies with chocolate chunks and marshmallows melted on top. Find the recipe here, then wipe the drool off your face.

hot-cocoa-cookies-final-1-f 3.  Create a DIY Christmas Tree from Lights

The drab plaster and fluorescent lights of most dorm rooms can sometimes make it hard to feel like you’re walking in a Winter Wonderland during the holiday season. Get two for the price of one by building a Christmas tree on your wall out of twinkle lights! Bonus points if you hang up some homemade ornaments.

12b283f32f8f9c77ee5c87b26ce344414.  Build a Solo Cup Wreath

In case your neighbors didn’t already know you #rage, make a holiday wreath from red solo cups to hang on your door. Tape cups together in the arrangement of your choosing and finish it off with a nice big bow. Also, it’s a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle!d4dadf667bb09380eabd8bdaeac77f135. Take a Christmas Card Instagram

Like Friendsgiving, but with the extra ego boost that is breaking your likes record. Get your closest friends or roommates, grab some Santa hats and ugly holiday sweaters, and gather round for a snapshot in the jolliest pose you can think of. Nothing says, “We know the true meaning of Christmas,” quite like fighting over which filter makes you look most tan.

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So bring some cheer to your finals season the 4E way. When in doubt, quote Elf and eat tons of chocolate.

Images/GIFS: tumblr.com; feedly.com; pinterest.com; pandawhale.com; http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/nutella-hot-chocolate/; http://d12vb6dvkz909q.cloudfront.net/uploads/galleries/16600/elf-1.jpg

Everything You Need to Know About the Northeast Triangle Residence Hall

baireisspathwayThe zig-zag of construction fences between Red Sqaure and Darnall is about as #soul-crushing as Lauinger. But the good news is our campus will be stunning and thoroughly modern in about two years.

On Tuesday, we let you know that the former Jesuit Residence is about to be the coolest, loftiest and suite-est upperclassmen dorm around. Today, we’re going to let you know exactly what the Northeast Triangle residence hall will look like when it is completed. Note: The Northeast Triangle residence hall’s name is much too long so we’re going to call it the Residence from here on out.

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This is it, guys. It’s lovely! The new lowerclassmen dorm will be eight stories tall and will accommodate 225 students.

Sasaki Associates, the architects of the Residence, have designed the first LEED-certified residence hall on campus by including a green roof and other green features. There will be a lot of greenery around the dorm too. In fact, the building will only take up 50 percent of the space that is being worked on and the rest will be green space.

On the east side of the Residence, where there used to be an unused grassy hill, Sasaki Associates plans to create a terrace area including a sloped lawn and a patio. Perrenials, river birch trees, oak trees and scilla siberica will be planted among a few of the existing trees.

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So fresh!
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So clean!

The ground floor of the Residence won’t be any old lobby either. It will serve as a study area with meeting spaces for residents and non-residents. The ground floor will feature many tall windows so it seems like the ground floor flows into the outdoor space on the west side of the building. This west side will be renovated as well as the east side (bye Reiss Pathway). There will be new seating and it will be ADA accessible from Red Square.

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The shiny, new Reiss pathway.

Promenade-NET-June-2014We’re most excited to annonce that the new dorm will be key-less. Residents will use their GOCards to get inside the building and swipe into their rooms. As every forgetful Hoya knows, replacing a GOCard costs $25, while replacing a key costs $75. I have a feeling that everyone living in the Residence will be feeling super zen, even if they tend to lose things.

The Residence residents will get another oportunity to work on their zen in the “contemplative” room on the seventh floor, which we assume will have a similar purpose tp the John Main Meditation center. The floor plan also shows us that rooms will be set up in suites for two, four and six people and there will be a kitchen and lounge on each floor. The first floor also features an indoor bike storage room. Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 12.50.10 PMThe Residence is about to be one of the most beautiful dorms on campus and we can’t wait. But we’ll have to. The new dorm is only scheduled to be completed and ready for move-in by fall 2016 and is intended for sophomores, so none of us are in the running to live there. We hope the current high school seniors fated to go to Georgetown appreciate their future home. And we hope they won’t mind us hanging out in and around the Residence every chance we get.

Info: geogetown.edu
Photo: blogs.commons.georgetown.edu/masterplanning, Northeast Triangle Residence Hall Old Georgetown Board/CFA Review

The Atlantic Calls Lau ‘Soul-Crushing,’ Confirms Everything We Already Knew

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Lau is “soul-crushing.” Or at least according to an article in The Atlantic out today looking at the role that architecture plays on mental state. As any of us who have spent an all-nighter in the concrete fortress can confirm, this is definitely true.

The article, which looks at the positive effects of architecture on the brain, uses Lau as an example of just the type of architecture that doesn’t produce these outcomes.

At a particular moment during every tour of Georgetown’s campus, it becomes necessary for the student guide to acknowledge the singular blight in an otherwise idyllic environment.  

“Lauinger Library was designed to be a modern abstraction of Healy Hall”: a sentence that inevitably trails off with an apologetic shrug, inviting the crowd to arrive at their own conclusions about how well it turned out. Much of the student population would likely agree that the library’s menacing figure on the quad is nothing short of soul-crushing. New research conducted by a team of architects and neuroscientists suggests that architecture may indeed affect mental states, although they choose to focus on the positive.

These researchers, led by Catholic U. professor Julio Bermudez, looked at the effect that “contemplative architecture” (basically the opposite of Lau, I think) has on the brain, finding a positive impact. And even if they didn’t use Lau in their study, I think we all know what they would have found if they had.

So the next time you’re in Lau and you feel yourself dying a bit inside, know you’re not alone — and there’s even research to back you up.

Photo: Alexander Brown/The Hoya