14 Hoya Resolutions for 2014

14 Hoya Resolutions2014 is finally upon us, and you know what that means: time for New Year’s resolutions. However great your 2013 was, there is always room for improvement, and here are 14 goals that most Hoyas could use for the new year.

1. Go to Yates more It’s always easy to make an excuse to skip Yates, but this year we should try and limit those excuses (at least for a few weeks).

2. Go out to eat less While it’s great to get off campus and get dinner away from Leo’s, I know I definitely need to try and spend less at Wisey’s and Epi.

3. Get a 4.0 for the semester (or something close) It can’t hurt to dream, and since we are in school, an academic goal should probably make our list.

4. Watch less Netflix We all love our Netflix, but maybe this will finally be the year that we pass up on that extra episode of House of Cards to go to Yates or read for class … or just go to bed.

5. Support our fellow Hoyas Whether it is heading to Verizon Center to watch some basketball, walking to McDonough to see our other great sports’ teams or visiting the Davis Center to watch a theater performance, we should all try and support our classmates in the new year.

6. Break the bubble We Hoyas often get stuck in the “Georgetown bubble,” so in 2014 we should all try to get out and explore D.C. a little bit. I suggest H Street and Adams Morgan.

7. Meet new people You can never have too many friends, so this year, try and reach out to new people, and expand your horizons. Remember, all great relationships start with an introduction.

8. Eat fewer desserts at Leo’s It is so easy to just grab a cookie or ice cream on the way out of Leo’s. Maybe in 2014, we can switch to every other day for dessert.

9. Call home more This might not apply to everyone, but I know that I can certainly check in with my parents more often. Sometimes, texting just isn’t enough.

10. Text less Let’s make 2014 a little more about face-to-face conversations and a little less about thumb-to-screen interactions.

11. Play with Baby Jack No words needed, just mascot puppy adorableness.

12. Go to new heights Climb to a rooftop and take in the view, or possibly explore Georgetown’s infamous tunnels. (Note: 4E does not condone anything considered illegal or against the university Code of Student Conduct. But if you don’t get caught, it’s not either of those, right?)

13. Dance Whether it’s at Diplomatic Ball, Corp Gala, a club semi-formal or just your dorm room, go ahead and bust a move. We dare you.

14. Play hooky And while you’re at it, see numbers 1-13.

BONUS: Join 4E! Shameless self-promotion here, but everyone should give serious thought to applying to join 4E. It’s the best resolution of all.

Happy 2014, Hoyas! Good luck with all your resolutions!

Photo: eatrightchicago.org

Home Sweet Home: A Personal Reflection

Home Sweet HomeGoing home is a funny thing, and it feels different for everyone. It feels different every time you go home, and the feeling can even change while you are home. So while I sit here, hanging out with my senior citizen of a dog watching Home Alone, I’ll try to capture that feeling as best I can.

I guess it all starts with the celebratory relief of finishing finals. After putting our bodies and minds through two weeks of varying levels of sleep, stress and studying, getting home simply means being able to relax. There is essentially nothing important to think about for two and a half weeks. It’s awesome.

Of course, next is the terrific feeling of actually getting home. For me, that’s taking my first steps on the frozen Rhode Island tundra, taking my first sip of a Dunkin iced coffee (yes, iced) and – most importantly – the warm embrace of my family. I’d be perfectly content sitting around all break, spending my time off just chatting and catching up. If there’s one thing I miss most while away at school, it’s seeing my family every day.

But, of course, after escaping the countless hugs of your family, it’s time to see your friends. No matter how many new friends I make at school, there is still something about spending quality time with the people I grew up with that will never get old. Whether we’re reminiscing about old memories or making new ones, there is rarely a dull moment when we all get back together.

Every break, though, I really miss Georgetown. I miss the sights, sounds and most of all, the people. As great as my family and old friends are, it is always a bit bittersweet to return home.

What stands out to me the most at home are the little things, the things that I just didn’t appreciate as much as I should have before I left for school: the feeling of my bed, the smell of the air and the taste of my mom’s glorious cooking. The sense of everything and everyone coming together to celebrate. The most consistent, defining feeling of being home is appreciation.

Over the coming weeks, take the time to appreciate. While I don’t think there is anything wrong with feeling ready to head back to the Hilltop at the end of break, be sure to enjoy the little things (and the big ones, too) while you are home.

Happy holidays, Hoyas!

The Silver Lining: Finals and All-Nighters

FinalsOn Friday, classes end for the semester, which is certainly a huge relief.  Unfortunately, two and a half weeks of intense studying, paper-writing and finals-taking still stand between us and going home. However, finals “week” isn’t all bad, and I definitely encourage everyone to step back, take a deep breath and look at the positives of finals.

1. Meeting New People Study space during finals week is limited, which means that, unless you are in a cubicle in Lau, you will most likely be studying with friends. In many cases, that means you will be studying with your friends’ friends, too. And there is (arguably) no better time to make new friends than during finals week. Who knows, maybe while you’re cramming for that economics exam you’ll meet a lifelong friend … or, worst case scenario, someone to give you final-exam-memetissues as you cry in a Lau cubicle.

2. Bonding Aside from making new friends, finals week is a time to get to know your current friends better. You will probably spend a lot of time studying together. Like, A LOT of time. And you can learn some interesting things about people at 4 a.m.

3. Trying New Things Finals week offers a wonderful opportunity to try new drinks from The Corp or Starbucks. While your wallet will be lighter, you will be very familiar with the drink list for second semester.

4. Not Going to Class This one is pretty obvious, but in the hustle and bustle of finals and sleepless nights, at least you don’t have to sit through lectures every day. Plus, it leaves a lot of time for “activities.” Although I guess technically all that time is for studying.

5. Watching The Sunrise Whether you are looking out of a Lau window or walking down the hill toward Leo’s, the sunrise on Georgetown’s campus is gorgeous. And I can pretty much guarantee that finals week is the only time around 90 percent of Georgetown students might be awake to see the sunrise. Plus, it looks really cool when your vision is distorted by weariness/tears.

6. Achieving the Satisfaction Nothing feels better than finishing your last final/assignment. When you’re walking across campus in the middle of the night after finishing your last paper, listen to “We Are The Champions” by Queen. It’s unreal.

Good luck on all your finals, Hoyas, and just remember, when you’re feeling really stressed about that 10-page theology paper, there is a silver lining.

Photos: Undergrad.OSU, Wallpapergang

The Votes Are In!

Bao BaoFor months, the world has been captivated by the Panda Cam, the live webcam broadcast of the new baby panda at the National Zoo. However, for all these months, the cub has remained nameless. Finally, the wait is over.

After an online vote was conducted to name the bear, she was officially named at a celebration of her first 100 days yesterday. The winning name: Bao Bao.

The name means “precious” or “treasure” in Chinese, and it certainly seems to fit the world’s most famous bear cub. According to a report in The Washington Post, over 123,000 people voted worldwide to name the cuddly creature, which has been called a symbol of the bond between the U.S. and China.

Next up for Bao Bao: her public debut, set for next year. If the naming process was any indication, it looks like that Panda Cam is going to get a lot of views until then.

Photo: TodayOnline

Three Meals, One Swipe: A Georgetown Study Secret

Leo's StudyLeo’s is the best dining hall on campus, simply due to the fact that it is the only dining hall on campus. But is it also the best study hall on campus? I think it needs to be given serious consideration, for a few major reasons:

1) Outlets

Along the back wall, studious Hoyas can find multiple places to charge their electronics, giving them no reason to need to leave, pack up and find a new location.

2) Ambiance 

Outside of rush hours during lunch and dinner, Leo’s is, for the large part, relatively quiet. However, it isn’t silent, which I view as a huge plus for studying. While a Lau cubicle is sometimes necessary to get work done, silence (at least for me) can add to the stressful nature of studying and suppress my creativity. It’s good to be able to have some human interaction throughout the course of your studying. Just bring some headphones, so you can zone in when needed.

3) Unlimited Coffee

During a busy week, and especially during study days, many students can go through multiple cups of coffee each day. Do that for a week, and you are spending quite a bit of money to keep yourself properly caffeinated. At Leo’s, so long as the coffee machine doesn’t run out, you can refill your coffee cup as many times as your heart desires, with no extra charge.

4) People Watching

While you are, of course, attempting to get work done, it is inevitable that you will get distracted wherever you work. It’s only healthy to take a breather every once in a while. Leo’s is probably the most entertaining study spot to take this break, as you never know who you could see and what they’ll be doing.

5) All You Can Eat

Sure, this can get dangerous. But, as the title suggests, it is possible to get all three of your meals for the day without having to leave your study spot or use any extra money and swipes. Not only is there a “large” variety of meals available, but there are always snack foods like cookies and fruits available to keep you “satisfied” while you study.

Certainly, studying at Leo’s can have its downsides. It can get a little distracting, there aren’t any printers and you will have the “Leo’s smell” to an unbelievable degree. But our beloved Leo’s is certainly an underrated study spot – and a place I would recommend for any weary, overwhelmed Hoya during study days.

Photo: Keyword Picture

Friday Fixat10ns: Just Keep Swimming

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I’m sure by now everyone has heard enough about midterms.  Sadly, they aren’t quite done. Many of us still have one more tough week, and only then will we be home free for Thanksgiving.  Today’s Friday Fixations is a playlist designed to motivate you, pump you up and just make you feel good through this final stretch.

1. One Week – Barenaked Ladies You’ve got just one more week to make it through and you’ll be hard-pressed to find an instance when this song can’t cheer you up.

2. Gotta Get Through This – Daniel Bedingfield The title pretty much says it all; you’ve just gotta’ get through this, and then you can go home and stuff your face with turkey!

3. Dream On – Aerosmith My personal favorite song, this inspirational hit pushes you to aspire for that “A” and makes you believe you can achieve it.

4. Stronger – Kanye West Contrary to what some people say, midterms won’t actually kill you.  After they’re done, you’ll just be a test-taking machine.

5. You Can Get It If You Really Want – Desmond Dekker One of the most positive songs I know, its catchy, upbeat melody and optimistic lyrics make this Desmond Dekker smash a perfect study song.

6. Rise Above It – Lock, Stock and Barrel If this song could inspire the Jamaican Bobsled team to run through the Canadian winter in the movie Cool Runnings, it can inspire you to eek out that last bit of studying!

7. Carry On My Wayward Son – Kansas There’s nothing like some good old-fashioned classic rock to tell you to “just keep swimming”.

8. If You’re Going Through Hell – Rodney Atkins This is country music’s take on the whole situation; as the song says, “when you face that fire, walk right through it,” because you are almost done.

9. The Final Countdown – Europe This one is pretty self-explanatory as well.  But nothing says “you’re almost there” like a little bit of Europe.

10. You’re The Best – Joe Esposito Made famous in the original Karate Kid, Joe Esposito sends you a friendly little reminder to put a smile on your face walking into that last midterm.  You’re the best!

Good luck Hoyas, and don’t forget to bookmark this playlist for Study Days, too!

Photo: ImageSci

And You Win A Brand New Chainsaw!

ChainsawIt looks like Chris Cox, the man who did some voluntary landscaping around the Lincoln Memorial during the government shutdown, will be celebrating No Shave November in style — that is, if you count power tools as stylish.

DCist reported on Monday that Mr. Cox will receive a brand new chainsaw courtesy of the crowd-funding group Crowd It Forward as a “thank you” for his services.

Yes, you read that correctly: a chainsaw.  Most people (like Cox) do volunteer work out of the kindness of their hearts.  Sometimes, you might receive some reward for it, like a medal, a giant check or a key to the city. And other times, I guess you receive new landscaping equipment.

But don’t get me wrong — I think it’s awesome.  What better way is there to thank a man for landscaping than with a new chainsaw? It’s definitely way more fun than a medal, and much more practical, too.

I would like to send a big “thank you” (but no chainsaw) his way from 4E for his selfless service and congratulate him on his new toy.  While I hope we don’t have to deal with another shutdown for a long, long time, at least we now know whom to call if there are some overgrown trees on the White House lawn.

Happy sawing, Chris!

Photo: IranBanner

#TBT: Hoyas Basketball Edition

basketbal asia

In honor of Throwback Thursday, and (more importantly) the 2013 men’s basketball season opener tonight in South Korea, we here at 4E thought it was a good time to look back at the infamous, last time the Hoyas went to Asia.

The events are explained in more detail in the Hoya story that covered the incident of the time. Basically, the Hoyas were taking a good-will, exhibition trip to China, playing friendly basketball match-ups against various Chinese teams across the country.  However, one game, against the Bayi Rockets, turned out to not be so friendly, as tensions escalated into physical violence.  This stole the spotlight of the trip, overshadowed the positives, and brought up questions of international tensions leaking into athletics.

While the Hoyas make another international basketball experience tomorrow night in the Armed Forces Classic (8 ET, ESPN), I’m confident for a variety of reasons that it will be a much more civil experience.

1) They’re all amateurs

While Georgetown faced off against a professional team from China, they play the #18 Oregon Ducks tomorrow.  I think there’s a little less pressure on college kids playing each other, than professionals being embarrassed losing to a group of college students.

2) They’ll all be wearing cool uniforms 

Nike produced some sweet uniforms for this one, so not only will both teams look good, but they won’t be jealous of one another.

3) The uniforms endorse “respect”

Staying on the uniforms, I feel like it would be pretty contradictory to get into a brawl when Georgetown’s jerseys literally say “RESPECT” on the back.

4) This game actually counts

They Hoyas are looking for a strong start by beating a ranked opponent, and Oregon doesn’t want to get booted from the Top 25 this early, so neither of them have time for on-court shenanigans.

5) John B. Carroll

With the new mascot on campus, the Hoyas are looking to set a positive example for the little guy.  How could you disappoint this face?

In a Word: Midterms

in a word

At Georgetown, there is truly no midterm “season”.  Midterms seem to stretch from the first week of October until almost Thanksgiving, which can be bewildering and frustrating.  I figured now is as good of a time as any, right in the heart of mid-term season, to find out what Georgetown students really think about mid-terms.

I asked, and you delivered.  In the form of one word responses, here are Hoyas’ true feelings about Georgetown’s midterm season.

The Overwhelmed

The most common word sent in by everyone was “stressful” (or, in two cases, “stress”).  Next most popular? “Death”.  These are the “I have two midterms in all five classes between October and November” people … or anyone in Orgo.  Sorry guys.

The Challenged

Not surprisingly, “hard” came up a lot.  That was the first word that came to my mind.  Midterms are, plain and simple, challenging. Of course, the point of going to a high-level university is to be challenged, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get a little upset over the extra struggle.

The Un-phased

I like to pretend to be this person, but generally anyone who claims to be un-phased by midterms is lying.  Or a jerk.  I’m actually really happy for the people that were able to answer “fine,” “fun,” “overrated” and even “enlightening”.  Just slightly bitter.

The Miserable

These are the people who spend more hours in a week on Lau 5 than they do in their bed.  Generally, it is more of a “short burst” of work for these students, but the description “hell” was one of our top submissions, and “struggle” and “strugglebus” both made it up quite a few times.

The Tired

I mean, this is basically everyone at this point.  You get through three midterms in one week, and celebrate.  Then you check your upcoming assignments and proceed to a) cry, b) curl up into a ball, c) yell, or d) do all of the above.  “Tiring”, “Never-ending”, “endless”, “perpetual” and “tolling” all were submitted multiple times.  I mean, they will end eventually.  It might just be 20 degrees colder by the time they do.

Hang in there Hoyas; you can do it! It does get better! Now, if you excuse me, I have some studying to go do.

Fall Concerts in DC

DC FALL CONCERTS 2013As we leave Columbus Day Weekend in our rearview mirror and snap back into the reality that midterms occur more often than just “mid-term”, the stretch between now and Thanksgiving can seem a little daunting.  Luckily, D.C. provides great opportunities for a weeknight escape or a weekend endeavor that won’t jeopardize your next-day productivity. Here are a couple of the concerts and shows that caught my eye that are coming up in the very near future:

Aaron Carter- Sunday, October 20th, 7:30 PM; Fillmore Silver SpringAC-Wallpaper-aaron-carter-19945930-1600-1218

Do you like Candy? Yes, you read this correctly: the Aaron Carter is not only still touring, but is coming to Silver Spring in a week.  While I would assume his voice is a little deeper since the last time we heard from him, I’m sure it will still be a great show. If not, it’s just time for us washed up ’90s kids to relive our glory days.

Cold War Kids- Friday October 25th, 8:00 PM; 9:30 Club

After selling out the 24th (show starts at 7:00), the 9:30 Club brought back the Cold War Kids for a second night on Friday.  If indie-rock is your thing, then this is a can’t-miss concert.  The only question is, if Cold War Kids keeps getting more popular, can it still be considered indie?

Chance the Rapper- Sunday, October 27th, 7:00 PM; Fillmore Silver Spring

A lesser known, yet still extremely talented rapper, Chance will provide you with some rhymes that rival anything you’ll read in your English textbooks on a Sunday night.

Drake- Thursday, October 31st, 7:00 PM; Verizon Center

Tired of trick-or-treating? Go spend your last night of October with Drizzy Drake himself, and hear all of your favorite party songs live.

Barenaked Ladies- Monday, November 4th, 7:00 PM; Lincoln Theatre

Yet another late-nineties sensation returns to D.C. to break us away from our stressful school schedules, and bring us back to much, much simpler times.

These are just a few of the dozens of shows that you can find in D.C. during the fall.  Be sure to check out the venues schedules (all linked above but this is a video a of cat just because) so you don’t miss your favorite band!