5 Ways to Get in the Holiday Spirit at College


Here at 4E, we rejoice in all things Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza-related. Not even the soul-crushing Grinch that is Lau during finals can bring down our holiday spirits. This week, we did some Pinterest trolling (instead of our long list of papers) for the best DIY ways to celebrate the holidays at college and spread some joy.

tumblr_myckldVOnf1rawb5do1_5001.  Drink Nutella Hot Chocolate

Why waste precious Facebook stalking study time on the last-call Mug line (#ugh) when you can make your own unbelievably good – and easy – hot chocolate? Seriously, this is doable even in a common room kitchen. Just heat milk until steaming in a saucepan on medium-high heat, then whisk in two tablespoons of Nutella until dissolved. Pour in a thermos, add some whipped cream and chocolate syrup, and you’re ready to go! Buddy the Elf approved.

nutella-hot-chocolate-tall2 2.  Make Holiday Cookies

This next one is slightly more complicated, but equally delicious. Nothing says “Ho Ho Ho” quite like Christmas cookies. If you don’t lose your self control at the sight of Pillsbury’s holiday themed slice-and-bakes, something is wrong with your childhood (or you’re just not an obese American #sorrynotsorry).

tumblr_lebsdnhbUK1qfpcniFor those with more gourmet tastes, we recommend these hot cocoa cookies with chocolate chunks and marshmallows melted on top. Find the recipe here, then wipe the drool off your face.

hot-cocoa-cookies-final-1-f 3.  Create a DIY Christmas Tree from Lights

The drab plaster and fluorescent lights of most dorm rooms can sometimes make it hard to feel like you’re walking in a Winter Wonderland during the holiday season. Get two for the price of one by building a Christmas tree on your wall out of twinkle lights! Bonus points if you hang up some homemade ornaments.

12b283f32f8f9c77ee5c87b26ce344414.  Build a Solo Cup Wreath

In case your neighbors didn’t already know you #rage, make a holiday wreath from red solo cups to hang on your door. Tape cups together in the arrangement of your choosing and finish it off with a nice big bow. Also, it’s a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle!d4dadf667bb09380eabd8bdaeac77f135. Take a Christmas Card Instagram

Like Friendsgiving, but with the extra ego boost that is breaking your likes record. Get your closest friends or roommates, grab some Santa hats and ugly holiday sweaters, and gather round for a snapshot in the jolliest pose you can think of. Nothing says, “We know the true meaning of Christmas,” quite like fighting over which filter makes you look most tan.



So bring some cheer to your finals season the 4E way. When in doubt, quote Elf and eat tons of chocolate.

Images/GIFS: tumblr.com; feedly.com; pinterest.com; pandawhale.com; https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/nutella-hot-chocolate/; https://d12vb6dvkz909q.cloudfront.net/uploads/galleries/16600/elf-1.jpg

Staffer of the Week: Katy Berk (and the Editorial Board)

Once a week, The Hoya recognizes a staffer that has done a particularly awesome job — now you can get to know about them, too. As part of our Leavey 421 series, we’ll be posting quick interviews with each Staffer of the Week. This week’s staffer of the week went out to the entire Editorial Board for their phenomenal work. We sat down with Ed Board Chair Katy Berk to get this week’s SOTW dish.


Name Katy Berk
School College
Year 2016
Major History
Hometown Cambridge, Mass.
Positions on the Hoya Editorial board chair, Opinion editor

Why did you earn staffer of the week?

I’m the Chair of the Editorial Board and I’m also Opinion editor. This week was a huge week for us with the proposal of the Satellite Dorm. We have been involved in closed negotiations previously, and this was so exciting when this all opened up and we were finally able to talk to administrators one-on-one. We were also able to talk to Zach Singer and Nate Tisa to really get all sides of the issue and make one broad comment on it. We did three editorials and one 900-word piece weighing all the sides, showing the pros and cons and really trying to show campus all sides of what was going on. I think we pulled it off well and it got a lot of positive feedback from the campus community.

What’s your favorite part about working for The Hoya?

My favorite part about working for The Hoya is the handshake that happens after each production night. When we call in the issue on production night, the editor-in-chief (Danny Funt)  shakes everyone’s hand. It’s like all of this tension has built up throughout the night and then we just get to relax and hang out in the office until 3 am and it’s really fun. So I never thought I would like 2 am as much as I do and it’s all because of The Hoya.

You’ve just been asked to title Board Chair Evan Hollander’s biography. What would it be called?

I would title Evan’s memoir Off to the Races because that is the title of his column that he’s writing for us this semester. I think Evan likes to take a competitive, but fun approach to life. He really likes horse-racing and consulting and finance so that’s what I’d call it.

Pretend you’re making a teaser for the Ed Board as if it were a movie. What would it say?

Three staffers. Two community members. One weird table outside of Starbucks. 900 words about the Satellite Dorm proposal. What will they write about it?

On behalf of 4E, congratulations again to the entire Ed Board!

Dorm-tastic Decorations

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We may not consider our tiny little dorm rooms as cozy as our places back at home, but that doesn’t mean we can’t spruce them up with a little holiday cheer! With everything from full size Christmas trees to paper snowflakes, Hoyas know how to keep the Christmas spirit alive! (We also enjoy alcohol-related holiday humor, as seen above). Be sure to check out The Guide for some tips on keeping your rooms festive!

Send us pictures of YOUR dorm decorations at b[email protected] and we might just add them to the photo gallery!

Housing at a Glance: Apartment or Dorm?

by Erin Collins

When housing lottery results arrive, some freshmen will get numbers good enough to get an apartment. Those of you without that option should also know that the waitlist moves quickly with juniors finding out about study abroad, so this choice may very well affect you as well. Coming from the tiny Freshman dorm rooms makes the choice appear easy – who wouldn’t want to upgrade to an apartment? But remember, it is important to weight the pros and cons of dorm and apartment living. So, today’s 4E Housing at a Glance is here to help you make this crucial decision.

Last week we went over the best and worst of housing options for Sophomore year, and this week we have a couple of questions to consider when making your choice between an apartment and another year in the dorms:

Ready to give up dorm life? Moving into an apartment means the end of dorm floors and common rooms. You’ll spend the majority of your time in an apartment with your direct roommates rather than the other people living on your floor in a dorm. However, apartment life likely also means fewer distractions, so you can do more schoolwork at home instead of at Lau.

Private Bathroom? For current Darnall, New South and Harbin residents, it’s likely that nothing seems better than having a private bathroom. Avoiding the frequent hallway walk to the bathroom each day is definitely a welcomed change. Also, this means no more shower caddies or waiting in line for showers. But don’t forget that having a private bathroom means keeping it clean as well as buying bathroom necessities like toilet paper and hand soap that are provided in a dorm. Continue reading “Housing at a Glance: Apartment or Dorm?”