Finals Week as told by ‘Friends’

It starts with excitement that you don’t have to go to class anymore.

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But wait. There’s still finals.

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Well crap.

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Guess it’s time to hit the books…Sooner it’s done, the sooner it’s over right?

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Two hours later and you are left confused and scared for this test.

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Well maybe just a small break before we start again!

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Now back to the grind.

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That’s all you can do. Whatever is going to happen now is up to the finals gods.

Today’s the day! You might be slightly sleep deprived…and looking for anything to give you hope.

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You walk into your test like:

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But that changes when you realize nothing from the review is on the test.

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So you just have to wing it and hope for the best.

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That’s it! It’s over! Now there’s just the wait. Try not to have an anxiety attack in the meantime.

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The grades are back, and by some miracle, you passed! Now it’s time time to celebrate. Enjoy the beginning of your summer and freedom!

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Teach Me To Adult?

“What do you want to do for the rest of your life?”

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We have been asked this question since we were in grade school. Every year you walk into a new classroom and you have to answer this question all over again. For some, the answer is different every time. For others, they are one hundred percent certain that they know exactly what they are doing, and I congratulate those people. They are very lucky. For the rest of us, asking us what we want to do for the rest of our lives is a toughie because half of us don’t even know what we are going to be doing next week.

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Especially at 20-something, deciding what you want to do forever is a daunting class. I mean, we just spent the last 16 years in a classroom learning how to divide fractions and having every presentation feel a little like:

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(By the way, if you’re an employer reading this, just know I know how to create really really phenomenal PowerPoint presentations, so I feel that I would make an excellent addition to your team.)

It’s even funnier(scarier) when you are in the middle of an interview and you hear this question:

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

*Internal Screams*

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Don’t actually say that! Just stop and take a deep breath. It is A-OK to not know what the heck is going on. If we are being honest with ourselves, most of us are just as confused and there is nothing wrong with that! Take your time. Explore your options. Honestly, there is no rush! You have the rest of your life to figure everything out, and one day you might just wake up and know, but don’t rush it. Don’t settle until you find your passion, and know that you are not alone in trying to figure out how this adult thing works. I promise!

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This is the end.

Here we are. We made it! *hold for applause*

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All the grades are almost in, and whatever happens, there is nothing else you can do except pray your teacher bumps your 89.3 up to that 90 you are desperately praying for.

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No more all-nighters trying to finish that paper you waited until the last minute to do. No more waking up late for your 8 am class. No more group projects! (my personal favorite) And no more struggling to find parking on campus.

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For the next three and a half months, we are free with a summer full of possibilities to celebrate. Whether you are leaving town for a fancy internship that could change your life or headed home for vacation, the time is now yours. Anything can and will happen.

You are another year closer to that fabled thing called being an adult, but it’s not close enough to be a real thing yet. For now, you’ll settle for changing your major again and trying to decide what books you can get away with not buying for classes in the fall.

For those of us graduating, this time could either fill you with excitement or perhaps even a little dread. Maybe you have already landed your dream job and you are just waiting for graduation so you can take off. Or maybe you are still uncertain of what is next, and that is perfectly okay. This summer is not just a little break for you. It is the start of the rest of your lives. The first time you don’t know exactly where you will be at the end of August when everyone else goes back to school.

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That can be a scary thought, but I promise it will be okay, and just know that all of us back home are rooting for you! You have spent the last couple of years preparing for this, and now you just have to put it into practice. There is no need to be afraid because you are ready. Now I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it will be easy or that you won’t fall a few times, but I am going to tell you that it will make you stronger and that the journey will be well worth it.

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Go out and live your dreams. Home will be waiting for you when you need it. Also, never forget that no matter where you go, you will always be a Buff, and we wish you all the success in the world.

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(And for those who are not graduating, see you in August!)

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How to Survive April in College.

April. This is one of the scariest times in any college students life. April is the month that laughs in your face as you look at all of the deadlines looming in your planner. All semester long you’ve been telling yourself things like,

“Oh I’ve got time.” or “That isn’t due until the end of April.”

But wait. April is here.

Now there’s no need to panic. You still have four weeks to make up for all the procrastinating you’ve been doing this semester.You only have those  three major projects, studying for finals, and a mental breakdown to go before you are free for the summer! With some organization and some stress relieving exercises, you can do this. The light is at the end of the tunnel, so don’t give up hope!

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First, take some deep breaths. This is going to be important because you need to clear your head in order to stay sane. Next, I would say go and prioritize your assignments. What is due first and what should you go ahead and prepare for. If you set aside a little time every night, then it will become easier to tackle these projects, and it will be less overwhelming in the long run.

Take your homework outside! The weather has been pretty nice, so go out by the fountain or to Terril Lawn to hit the books. The fresh air is nice and can help refresh and awaken your mind to help you get more done.

Another stress relieving tip would be to take time to relax. Now I don’t mean relax until 10:00 the night your homework is due. I mean take a day and go out to the Canyon with your friends or go to the park and feed the ducks. Take some time to de-stress because if you try to cram in too much too fast, that can lead to becoming overwhelmed and eating your feelings.

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No. Don’t do that. It’s gonna be okay, I promise. Just pace yourself and start now instead of waiting, and you will get out of April with your sanity intact. We are almost at the end fellow Buffs. We can do this!

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Then we just have to get through finals…

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Wake up!

“I am going to start getting up every morning and working out!” said every college student the night before, but for some reason, getting up to go work out is probably one of the greatest challenges we students have ever faced, so that is why I have found a few tips that should make getting up for that early morning run a little easier.

 

Lay out your everything you need the evening before!

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Getting out to the gym at 6 am is difficult enough without stumbling around searching for your left sneaker. If you set out everything the night before, then it can make getting up and out the door (before you change your mind and crawl back in bed) a little easier. Also, make sure your perfect playlist is made so you aren’t worried about your tunes.

 

Set multiple alarms!

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I know one alarm on it’s own is annoying, but you are less likely to ignore five alarms telling you to go fight off the Freshman 15 than being able to shut off one alarm and slip back into sweet dreams. Along with that, place your phone somewhere where you have to get up to turn it off. Once you’re officially out of bed, getting out the door is that much simpler.

 

Grab a friend!

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Finding a work-out buddy can make getting up a little easier because you’re not just getting up for yourself anymore. You don’t want to let your friend down. I have actually been in situations where neither my friend or me actually wanted to go work out, but because we had made that commitment to each other, we went anyways because we didn’t want to be the one to cancel our plans.

 

In the long run, you are going to be so much happier having made it to the gym. You are going to feel more awake during your day and the more you create a habit of getting up earlier to get your sweat on, the easier it will become. So get up, grab some friends, and go hit the gym!

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Dating on a Budget

Dating in college is difficult enough without trying to also factor in the costs included. Dinner? Anywhere from $20 (dinner for 2 at Applebee’s) to $86 if you go somewhere nice like OHMS in downtown Amarillo. Then you add the $16 cost for movie tickets. That adds up way too quickly. We college kids are way to broke for those kinds of tabs. There has to be a better way.

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 Dating on a budget can be tricky, but can sometimes be some of the funnest dates to go on. Here are a few date ideas for $30 or less.

  1. Go hiking at Palo Duro Canyon. The view from the top of the canyon is breathtaking, and it’s a great way to take some time to get to know your date without the pressure of a fancy dinner or symphony setting. This could also be a great double date idea!
    • Admission into Palo Duro: $5 a person
    • Total: $10
  2. Volunteer together. The Amarillo SPCA is always needing volunteers, and who doesn’t love playing with puppies and kitties? This date is free, and it is a great way to bond while giving back to the community. (Just make sure your date isn’t afraid to get a little dirty.)
    • Cost? $0

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3. The Amarillo Botanical Gardens are also another great date idea. For $5 each, you can wander hand-in-hand with your loved one and just take in the wide variety of nature. You can even take your pet if they are on a leash! In the winter, there is Carol of the Lights. Whether spring or winter, this is a great romantic date idea.

  • $5 a person
  • Total: $10

4. Cadillac Ranch is a super fun idea as well. Take your date out with some spray paint and tag the cars a bit. Leave your mark on Amarillo.FREE!

5. If your date is a little more indoorsy, take her/him to Amarillo Museum of Art. Peruse the various works of art. Whether you are discussing brush strokes or making up stories behind the pieces, this can be a great first or hundredth date. The art is not always going to be the same, so this date can be reused more than once. Another plus? There is no charge for admission!

6. Bowling! The friendly competition will keep you entertained through the evening, and the pizza is pretty good too.

  • You can check out the different specials Western Bowl offers throughout the week here.

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7. Go look at the stars. Lay out a blanket, grab a thermos and spend the evening stargazing.

8. Brush With Art is a great hands-on artsy date. You can go in, pick out your own piece and then paint to your heart’s content. There is a small painting fee, and then you pay for the piece you paint. This one can get a little pricier, but it just depends on what you paint.

  • Painting fee: $6
  • Cost for the piece: $3 and up

There are so many different ideas for date night even here in Amarillo. It just takes a little bit of digging to find the hidden treasures Amarillo has to offer. Not everything has to break the bank. Being an adult does that all on its own without the extra costs attached to dating, so don’t be afraid to be cheap. There is still plenty of fun to be had.