In their absence, I thought I'd elaborate on Ryan's list with a SPECIAL FINALS EDITION™. Here's a small sampling of the things I've done to alleviate the stress of finals:
- Eat Midnight Breakfast at Cafe Mac. Faculty and staff serve us hash browns, eggs, waffles and bacon (plus a crazy assortment of fruits and pastries). From 10pm-12am! One of my favorite events of the fall semester, and it only happens once. I just got done eating, actually.
- Go to department parties. Whether you've declared a major or not, feel free to attend department parties around the College. Grab free food, talk to people in the department and revel in not being declared (yet). Today I ate ginger cookies and egg nog and talked about research faux pas at the Linguistics department party. Tip: never underestimate a linguistics major in a game of Boggle; most of us also double-major (or minor) in at least one language. We know a lot of words.
- Check out a cappella performances. Pretty much without fail, the four a cappella groups perform sometime during the finals insanity. Trads (all-male) and Sirens (all-female) performed tonight, Scotch Tape (co-ed) performed on Sunday and will do so again tomorrow, and the newest group, Off-Kilter (co-ed vocal jazz) also performed Sunday. Why study when you can watch singing and plaid-clad antics? That paper will pretty much write itself.
- Do some holiday shopping. Get out of your dorm, put on some real clothes--sweats don't count--and head any direction off campus to pick up some gifts for the loved ones you (may have ) neglected all semester. There are fancy food stores, stores full of cool knick-knacks and more restaurants than you can shake a stick at. Whether you're picking up a gift certificate for locals or bringing Minnesota flair back home, getting out of the dorms can make you feel slightly more human again.
- Watch TV. I don't know many other people who would advocate this, but I think that TV can be stress relief and a reward system. Hulu, YouTube, MegaVideo and all of those overseas hosts make it easy to catch your favorite shows any time, so what's the excuse not to? We're often too busy during the semester to watch shows on a weekly basis, but watching an episode or two after finishing that 20-page paper is both satisfying an relaxing.
Happy holidays, and may your winter be warmer than Minnesota's!