Your holiday gift guide

| Forum Editor

Around this time of year, every website and publication releases a gift guide to tell you what you really want. You know, because you really want an artisan leather belt made by Burmese monks who traveled to tanneries in Morocco to make it just the right shade of brown. It’s not like these are guides for gifting unto yourself. You have to ask for the monk belt, because chances are your loved ones aren’t reading that same list and thinking about how much they want to buy it for you. If you couldn’t tell, I think these gift suggestions are a little ridiculous. If you can’t think of something you want on your own, chances are you don’t really want it, and you definitely don’t need it.

But because this is the season of giving and receiving, there are a few things that every college student should give to himself or herself in preparation for finals and then heading home for break. You know how flight attendants always instruct you to take care of your own oxygen mask before assisting others? This is that kind of thing. So without further ado: the college kid’s end-of-semester gift guide for giving to himself or herself.

Below you will find a veritable smorgasbord of do’s and don’ts. Some may work for you; others may make you want to throw up a little bit in your mouth. Choose selectively.

There’s something about finals that makes Washington University kids turn into rabid neurotics. This year, consider not freaking out about your lack of memorization of the textbook. Your life will go on if you get a B+. This is something that I’m not personally very good at, but it’s a suggestion that helps you keep perspective. It will make finals a more tolerable process and save your jaw from all that painful clenching.

In that vein, leave yourself time for breaks. Take half an hour to work out and then go have dinner and actually talk to people. It will allow all that reading you’ve been doing to actually sink in. Even though you think you don’t have the time, you do. Just spend less of it on Words with Friends.

Don’t blackout on the one night you have off. You can call me lame, but I’ve learned from experience. It leaves you tired and kills your entire day that could be used productively, resulting in a more congested work schedule. The feeling of having a palate expander inside your skull while small fish try and swim up your digestive tract does not make Kant easier to read.

Don’t stay up all night. Yeah, everyone thinks you’re badass when you say you haven’t slept in, like, four whole days. But what you’ve really been doing by not sleeping in, like, four whole days, is staying up all night in a full body tinnitus, rendering you incapable of thinking, and then nodding off all day like some expiring junkie. All that Red Bull does not a smarter you make. Oh, and by Red Bull, I mean your friend’s Adderall.

Lastly, maintain your hygiene. It’s good for me and it’s good for you. It’s good for me because when I sit next to you in the library, it won’t smell like kitty litter, and I don’t have to worry about a mother bird returning to the nest in your head to regurgitate some worms. It’s good for you because feeling fresh will help you maintain focus and showers are invigorating in a way. On a similar note, I know pajamas are comfortable, but if you wear the clothes you are used to doing nothing in, it makes you more lethargic—at least in my experience.

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