Monday, December 20, 2010

'Tis the season...

Of finals.

While college students around the country prepare for the festive holiday season by listening to their favorite holiday music, going to tacky Christmas sweater parties, or buying presents for their Secret Santas, there is one obstacle that must be overcome: finals. Sure, finals may bring students closer together and give a sense of comradery, but in reality, it's tough. It's even tougher when you have a fever (which was my case). Luckily my exams were spread out (Thursday being the last) so it wasn't too bad. I just loaded up on herbal tea and lots of soup. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to spend a lot of time in the most happening place during this season: the library. But I will let you guys in on the Final Festivities.

Final Examinations this year started on December 9th and lasted until December 17th. The University has a strict exam schedule and policy that is posted even before students start registering for classes. The are two "Reading Days" in which no finals are scheduled and when the libraries are packed with students. It's impossible to find a nice place to study since all the good spots are taken, whether it be a cubicle in the Stacks in Clark, a table on the second floor of Clemons, or a nice nook in the McGregor Room of Alderman. I, myself, used to be a Clemons' girl last year but this year I've been finding myself in Alderman quite often- "room hopping."

One of my good friends (and future roommate's) birthday was on the 10th, just as finals started, and since we knew she would probably be stuck at Clemons studying for her Biopsychology Final on Monday, a bunch of friends and I decided to surprise her at midnight.

I tried to take a video of the Clemons library without looking creepy by recording everyone (as you can see it didn't work out so great.) In general, you can see how crowded the floor is on a Friday night during Finals. Some of the pros about studying in the library is that you may sometimes bump into your friends who are unfortunately in the same boat as you - pulling an all-nighter with a Starbucks Espresso Shot can in their hand. trying to bang out a paper. Various organizations and secret Societies also like to give out free food, have arts and crafts stands and other stress relieving activities. Apparently, last week a live Chicken was roaming around the first floor of Clemons. These spontaneous activities provide great study breaks in between long hours of studying.

I'm now home enjoying home-cooked meals and trying to fully recover from my fever. I hope you all enjoy the Holiday Season - Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Oh, and for all of you high schoool seniors out there - good luck on college applications!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Holidays Come to UVA

Have y'all caught the holiday bug yet? Here in Charlottesville, we're in our last week of classes and the stress of finals week has definitely set in. But if Shelby's last post on holiday travels didn't clue you in to what's really on UVA student's minds, this video of one of my favorite UVA traditions will!

The Lighting of the Lawn celebrated its tenth anniversary last night, in an evening complete with music, steaming cups of hot cocoa, a humorous poem recapping the events of the past year, and approximately 5,000 feet of holiday lights. For me, events like this cement the fact that I belong at UVA. Somewhere between touring my friends' lawn rooms, singing along with the a cappella groups, and finishing the night with the Good Old Song (really, nothing "cheers my heart or warms my blood"- and trust me, I needed warming in last night's chilly weather- like the Good Old Song), I was struck by how incredibly blessed I am to be a part of such a wonderful community that celebrates the moments between libraries and loves to take the night off to honor and enjoy the traditions that make UVA a magical place.

Check out this video and join in the tradition! Sorry about the shaking, it's surprising difficult to sway to the Good Old Song and film at the same time. I know it's dark, but I hope you can get a good idea of how many people attend this event- the lawn was packed!