Ideal Alternatives to Studying

ExamsIt’s been over a week since the last day of classes, and finals studying is in full force. The prospect of two weeks on campus with no classes seemed like it might be fun. There would be so much time for activities – if only that pesky thing called “studying” were not in the way of you and holiday-spirited revelry with friends. After that sentiment fled, Lau became a time-warping alternate universe of notecards, Word documents and cabin fever. However, we know that Hoyas have other things on their minds than studying.

We asked what you’d rather do than study for exams … and here’s what Hoyas have to say:

  1. Sleeping
  2. Running a marathon, because it would be less painful
  3. Playing with my pet bird
  4. Watching Elf
  5. Drinking
  6. Traveling back in time to actually pay attention in class the first time around
  7. Stealing the Healy clock hands while everyone is too busy on Lau 2 to notice
  8. Watching TV
  9. Apparently reading Thought Catalog, since I’ve been doing that for the last hour
  10. Studying something I’m more interested in
  11. Lying next to a crackling fire with hot cocoa while watching all 8 Harry Potter movies
  12. Cuddling and listening to Christmas music
  13. Figuring out how much wood a woodchuck actually would chuck
  14. Squash
  15. I’m not really sure it’s appropriate
  16. Dancing
  17. Watching a movie
  18. Christina Hendricks
  19. Watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on my bed with my dog and a hot piece o’ ‘za
  20. Playing soccer
  21. Watching the entire series of New Girl online. Oh wait, that IS what I’m doing.
  22. Tanning on the beach in San Diego
  23. Flying a blimp!
  24. WATCHING MRS. DOUBTFIRE, DUH!
  25. Eating a banana Nutella crepe
  26. Literally anything
  27. Be on a tennis court, racquet in one hand, beer in the other
  28. Kissin’ my dog on the lips
  29. SITTING ANYWHERE THAT DOESN’T HAVE FLUORESCENT LIGHTING
  30. Going to the premiere of the new Hobbit movie solely for Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug
  31. Eating a wheel of cheese, but the wheel has lots of different sections and each one is a different kind of cheese
  32. Snapchatting the entire song “Royals” line by line while dressed as Lorde
  33. Walking through Costco eating free samples while drinking a slushie
  34. (This response was deemed too explicit to print on 4E)
  35. Babysitting Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon’s kids
  36. At home, on my couch, watching the latest episode of Homeland with a warm slice of pizza from my fave pizza restaurant
  37. Making a gingerbread house
  38. Flossing my teeth
  39. Hiking in the Adirondacks and eating PB&Js and trail mix with my two favorite people in the world
  40. Taking my chances with a poisonous frog
  41. Laying in bed covered in puppies
  42. Wrestling a great white shark
  43. Catching the rats in Darnall with a loincloth and a small hunting spear
  44. Scouring the city for knives to donate to Leo’s
  45. Petting little Jack … for hours

So there you have it. That’s everything you’d rather be doing than studying for finals… Now get back to studying for finals.

Photo: Pauleannareid.com

DCTC: Capitol Hill

DCTC Capitol HillWelcome back to the Hilltop, Hoyas! (Is it too late to say that now that it’s fall? Sorry, I’m not sorry.) We 4E-ers know that you have missed the D.C. Travel Companion more than an oreo Wisey’s cookie after a full day of classes. For those of you who are new to Georgetown or to 4E (which is a travesty), DCTC helps Georgetown students navigate and investigate DC affordably. Today we will be exploring Capitol Hill and all it has to offer (other than the Government, of course)!

Getting to the Metro:

The easiest way to get to Capitol Hill is to take the Metro from Rosslyn. If it isn’t Sunday, you can take the GUTS bus directly to the station (it’s free). If you are not on campus, or if it is Sunday, you can take the Circulator Bus to Rosslyn. The bus stops at 33rd and M Street and costs one dollar with exact change (or you can use a SmarTrip card). Another great option, if it is a nice day, is to walk across the Key Bridge to Rosslyn. It’s about a 20 minute walk from the front gates – fresh air, anyone?

Once at the Rosslyn Metro station

Cost $3.00 with a paper fare card and $2.00 with a SmarTrip card. Make sure to check the times and beware of rush hour traffic/ prices.

Route 1 To get to Capitol Hill take the Blue line towards Largo Town Center and get off at the Capitol South stop (estimated travel time is 18 minutes).

Route 2 You can also take the Orange line from Rosslyn to get to Capitol Hill. Make sure to take the train that is heading towards New Carrollton and, once again, get off at the Capitol South stop (estimated travel time is 16 minutes).

Now that you are at Capitol South, it is time to explore! Here are some of the sites that we love and you will too:

We, the Pizza – 305 Pennsylvania Ave. SE – Other than having an awesome name, this place also has some of the best pizza in the area. Be sure to try one of its homemade sodas and enjoy your food at its upstairs seating area! It is open Monday — Saturday, 11 a.m. — 11 p.m. but readers beware: they’re closed on Sundays.

Good Stuff Eatery – 303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE – If you aren’t in the mood for pizza, how about a burger? This is the original location and it is located right next to We, the Pizza. Be sure to try the Black & White Milkshake – it is delicious!

Eastern Market – 225 7th Street SE – Eastern Market is one of the most popular flea markets in D.C. It is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. This market has tons of stores and kiosks with various goods, and it is also surrounded by restaurants that serve fantastic brunches (Monmartre at 327 7th Street SE is a personal favorite). Make sure to either get to the area early or make reservations, because the restaurants can get quite busy when the weather is nice!

Library of Congress – 101 Independence Ave. SE – Sometimes Lau just doesn’t cut it, and we here at 4E understand that. The Library of Congress is a great option for an alternative study location! Library cards are free, but you need to register in person at the Reader Registration Station (Room LM 140 in the Madison Building). When you are there, the staff will verify your information, take your ID photo, ask you for a signature and then you will be ready to go. You can also preregister online (you still have to verify your information in person).

Enjoy Capitol Hill, Hoyas, and make sure to do some people watching!

Off-Campus Study Spotlight

off campus

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.

Best Bets: Let’s Dance!

The weekend’s coming up, and you know what that means? No, not studying for more midterms, but a break from the ones you just completed. Take a couple of study breaks for your own health and for the sake of having fun. Even on a hectic weekend, I try to keep myself occupied with activities other than draining my life away in an isolated room stuck in the books not knowing whether it is day or night. Here are some suggestions for an enjoyable and eventful weekend:

Friday: Guess what’s coming to Georgetown? As part of its breakfast tour, the Nutella truck is arriving! And who doesn’t enjoy the goodness of a wholesome unique spread of hazelnut and cocoa on practically anything? It is kosher, gluten-free, and AMAZING! The truck will be here this Friday, October 19 from 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the front gates. Did I forget to mention that it’s in the morning? But hey, free Nutella!

Saturday: Since I’m still a kid and so are you, why not take a stroll down memory lane and attend the Virginia’s premier amusement park formerly known as “King’s Dominion”. Make your way to Red Square and purchase tickets for only $15! This includes entrance and the two hour transportation to and from Georgetown. Buses will leave Georgetown at 5 p.m. There will be plenty of thrill rides and live entertainment. Zombies and other twistedness that will make sure to haunt your minds forever!

Sunday: On this day, the typical student does homework or last minute studying. Yes, I am talking to all you procrastinators! So if you decide not to leave your dorm, I suggest that you take at least 2-3 long study breaks. This does not mean you have permission to go on your Netflix account or look through random people’s photos on facebook. Get some fresh air and go for a walk along the Potomac or Roosevelt Island. And if you really can’t get out of your room, dance! Blast a favorite song and get yourself moving. Trust me, no one will know! Plus, it’s fun, too.

Off Campus Study Spotlight: Tryst

Do you have 6,000 pages of Plato’s Republic to finish by Friday? Are you sick of having people on Lau 3 glare at you when you rustle a page too loudly? Do you like animal crackers and lattes?

If any of these things apply to you, you’re probably looking for an off-campus study spot. LOOK NO FURTHER: Tryst is a café in Adams Morgan with a great bar area, comfortable couches, delicious and moderately priced food and drinks, and tons of young twenty-somethings wearing circle scarves with their noses buried in the newest Junot Diaz novel. It’s a great place to get some work done in a non-stressful environment.

I’m going to start off with the downsides of Tryst so that we can end this post on a high note (I’m all about the happy endings….okay, that didn’t come out right…but you get the point). Tryst is located in Adams Morgan which means it’s kind of a trek to get over there.

If the weather permits, it’s only a little over a half hour walk which is easy and nice if you have a friend or last week’s Guide Grooves playlist to accompany you. It’s approximately a $10 cab ride one way from the front gates, which is also not too bad if you have a friend or two to split the fare with. The café website has a whole section that explains the various methods of public transportation you can use to guide your trip!

The other downside, ironically, is Tryst’s popularity. When I walked into Tryst, I struggled to find an open seat and so I plopped myself down at the only empty stool at the bar. Those are, however, my only stipulations about going to Tryst every single day to study.

I personally cannot study without some sort of background noise going on to keep myself sane. Tryst supplies plenty of that along with some light background music to set the hipster-mood. I treated myself to a latte (which comes with animal crackers) and a super delicious Santa Cruz Bagel – your choice of bagel, topped with cream cheese, chopped basil, chives, scallion, thyme, rosemary and mint, served open face and drizzled with olive oil and fresh black pepper.

The girl next to me had a Belgian waffle that looked fluffy as fluffy can get and the man to my right ordered Hot Bacon Dip (which comes with potato chips) and also looked delicious. Next time I go, I will make sure to forego the morning Leo’s run and just stock up on the large selection of delicious treats at Tryst while I finish my weekly Spanish paper.

Let’s also talk about how this place is called “Tryst” and how that just sounds awesome in itself. It’s a great word. I’m going to use it more. Even in situations where it doesn’t apply at all. Maybe even as an adjective (i.e. That Nutella sandwich was so tryst, I can’t even handle it.)

All in all, I give Tryst a big thumbs up! Be sure to check it out when you get the time…and call me so that I can come with you…

Photo: trystdc.com

Finals Fixat10ns: The Best (and Worst) Study Songs

[8tracks width=”300″ height=”250″ playops=”” url=”http://8tracks.com/mixes/462383″]

Throw on a pair of sweatpants, grab your 30-pound backpack, head to Lau, pull out a computer, slap in a pair of headphones, and (maybe) start studying — it’s a familiar routine during finals season.

And if you’re like me, you’re not only looking for your music to help you study, but also to distract you from those obnoxious whispering girls next to you, lift your spirits when the work gets too cumbersome, and provide a break from the monotony of Lau and study days.

So, here’s a list of music to help provide some extra motivation for you to finish that paper, memorize that vocabulary, or finish that last problem.

Best study hits:

Perth – Bon Iver Lead singer Justin Vernon’s voice is mesmerizingly beautiful. To be mesmerized further, here is the video from the Deluxe cover of the album.

Hell of a Season – The Black Keys With all of the nice spring weather out there, tt’s a hell of a season to try to stay focused. This song, released just this past week, should help.

The Mall and Misery – Broken Bells I wrote an entire paper to this song. It singlehandedly made me productive.

Citizen – Wye Oak Soothing voice, calming instrumentals, and great drumming. All you need to study.

Glowing Heart of the World – Calexico I find that any song that reminds me of driving alone down a desert road is suitable for studying.

Traveling at the Speed of Light – Joywave The band’s name describes this song: It’s a joyful wave.

Slowdance – Matthew Dear The more you listen to “Slowdance,” the more relaxed you become. Great for lowering your blood pressure.

The Birds Part 1 – The Weeknd Such a cool song. It’s genius.

Rill Rill – Sleigh Bells This song makes me want to study drunk. It is so chill.

Adieu – Coeur de pirate It’s easier to study when you don’t know the words to the song. Unless you’re from Quebec, you will probably not understand the song.

We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe) – Fun. Anything that Janelle Monáe does is infinitely better than what the Glee cast can do. I also recommend the acoustic version.

Most distracting study songs:

Love On Top – Beyoncé Listening to this song will make you want to learn its dance. Stay away from it unless you’re planning on watching the music video and learning the dance from it for hours on end.

Levels — Avicii Anything that reminds you of house parties should not be listened to in Lau. Also, avoid any of the hundreds of mash-ups using this song.

Call Me Maybe — Carly Rae Jepsen I am the first person to start dancing when this song comes on. But this hit from the third place finisher on the fifth season of Canadian Idol is not productive study music. Neither are any of the mashups on this playlist.

Any song from “Glee”: I once made the mistake of dancing in Lau. Not a good idea.