Writing ’13 Instead of ’14 on My Papers ‘Cause I’m A Rebel… or Forgetful

Congratulations, fellow Stressors. You’ve made it to another calendar year. (So what if I’m a week late. 2014’s not going anywhere anytime soon – unless you’re not reading this in 2014…)

As you can see, I’m back from winter break. I went to Hawaii, spent time with family, and did a bunch of cool stuff that I’m totally not going to talk about here. Instead, what I’m going to bore you with is a rant on… something?

Eyes Close Up - Stressing Out College

Or we could just have a staring contest.

Some of you, like me, have just started back up on your classes for your winter quarter or semester or whatever system you’re on. If you’re not yet back in classes, cherish your moments of non-academic vacationhood or else I’m going to reach through this screen and bitchslap some sense into you.

Bear with me as I get back into the swing of… actually doing stuff.

2014. Is it going to be a big year? A small year? A Napoleonic year? Hell if I know. I do know that I’ll be turning 21 this year and that’s pretty much about it.

As you may remember, I have no interest in resolutions. They’re silly. End of story. I make gentle suggestions to myself that I end up ignoring 97% of. [Gasp, a preposition at the end of a sentence.] So here are my gentle suggestions of 2014:

  • Read at least one unassigned book per month. When classes start, life stops. Leisure time gets replaced by lesion time as I drag my discipline and motivation to study through the dirt behind me. My list of books that I own, but have yet to read keeps growing.
  • Learn a non-Monty Python song on the ukulele. The uke is something I got on a planned whim a couple months ago. It’s very travel-friendly and it has a lovely timbre, but I tend to plateau quickly when learning something like this without an instructor holding me accountable. Damn my laziness. My YouTube muses are not soaring.
  • Take a stroll through the gym. No, no, Subconscious, I know what you’re thinking (paradoxically). It’s not like I’m going to be getting on the elliptical or picking up any weights or breaking a sweat. No, no, no, silly. Just a stroll. I am after all paying some hundred dollars in my student fees for the recreation center. Why not take an innocent, sweatless stroll…
  • Scribble more. This blog has been a good semi-creative outlet. And I’ve found that with activities like NaNoWriMo, I actually do like writing. So maybe I’ll put pen to paper or finger to key more. Maybe.
  • Figure out what the heck I want to do with my life. Ha. Still kidding.

That wasn’t a rant. But it’s good to be back.

Edit: And oh my goodness, Sherlock is back! (If you haven’t watched it because it’s not available in your area yet, e-mail me and I’ll let you know how to watch it on the BBC website now: stressingoutcollege@gmail.com. Shhhh, you didn’t hear anything from me…)

How were your holidays? Got any new year resolutions or suggestions you know you’re not going to keep? 

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Be My Valentine – or Not. Whatevs.

Haters gonna’ hate. As the date February 14th – otherwise known as Valentine’s Day – approaches, you start hearing comments like these:

“Single and proud of it. No ball and chain here, suckas!”

“Valentine’s Day is a commercial machination to get you to spend money on empty, meaningless crap.”

“Feeling sorry for all the guys [or gals] that have to impress their girlfriends [or boyfriends] today.”

And you’ll see Internet memes like these:

Brace Yourselves, Valentine's Day is Coming

Condescending Wonka Valentine's Day

These are the Scrooges of Valentine’s Day for whatever reason. Maybe they had a bad romantic experience (or multiple experiences). Perhaps liking Valentine’s Day is too mainstream. Or they’re just taking out their anger about being romantically unattached on a day dedicated to lovey-dovey-ness.

Well, to you curmudgeons, I say “Okay.”

I know, that was really sticking it to ’em. In actuality, I don’t mind that people hate on Valentine’s Day. To me, it really is just another day – not because I’ve been romantically spurned or I hate popular ideas. I don’t like it, I don’t not like it. It simply has no meaning to me. Christmas and New Year’s Day don’t even do it for me and those are the A-list holidays, ones where you actually get several days or weeks off and/or are required to gather with your extended family. Christmas hasn’t meant much to me ever since the child wonderment left. New Year’s lost its panache when I realized resolutions made on that day are destined to fail. I’m too old for Easter egg hunts. I’ve seen too many 4th of July fireworks, but am still mildly amused by poppers (the firecracker, not the drug). I like turkey feasts well enough, but honestly, I’m already thankful year-round. V-Day is just another day that’s lost some of its meaning along the way.

In summation, liking Valentine’s Day doesn’t hurt anyone. If you’re going to go out and do something special with your significant other, good for you. I hope you have fun (Trust me, that had no irony in it. I truly do wish you the best.) And if you’re not doing anything “special,” good for you, too. Let the haters hate and the lovers love.

What am I going to do for Valentine’s Day on February 14? Go to class, drink a chai, maybe grab a bite with a pal, go home, read a bit, and watch House of Cards. Ya know, just a typical Thursday.

Ah, what the hell. Happy Valentine’s Day, folks.

Read more about Valentine’s Day shenanigans with these links:

Thoughts? Got any special plans for V-Day? Any good V-Day stories?

On the Fourth Day of Dead Week

Deck the halls with sticky notes, dry erase markings, and shreds of the tattered and battered remains of our sanity as we enter our favorite time of year: Dead Week.

By “we,” I refer to students. And by “year,” I mean term, whether it’s a quarter, trimester, or semester. So… Fa la la la la, la la la la.

The only things standing between us and – nay, guarding with bared teeth and chesty growl – winter freedom are finals. Ah, finals, our old friend. It seems like only a few weeks have passed since we had to encounter your cousins, the midterms. Why so eager for a family reunion? I assure you the midterms were more than enough to tide us over for[ever] a very long time. So please, continue staying at bay off in the distance. Believe us: we like you better there. It’s almost better than having you behind us and out of sight.

Fellow college students, never fear. Hang in there. Stay strong. And golden. For the freedom that lay before us at the end of the following week shall be sweet and pure and holy. Just a few more days, fellow academic warriors, but tonight… we dine in hell – the hell of cramming and crying and procrastinating and repeating. So eat heartily, my friends, and then revel in the just desserts on the horizon, with the sweet corn syrup of success and triumph dripping down your chin.

Study hard and study long! For on the morrow, the winter break is yours for the taking!

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THIS IS… an overused meme.

Good luck. And de-stress in the comments section.