To Auld Lang Syne

Hello my little blogger babies! First and foremost, I would like to say thank you to all of my readers who have been faithful to my blog since I started it in October. Although I created it out of necessity for a social media class I was taking, I fell in love with blogging, so I have decided to keep Diaries of a Super Senior going through my graduation in May. Besides, I have, like, soooo much wisdom left to share with all of you. Really, this is my Christmas present to you. You’re welcome.

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So, as you might have guessed, this post is all about New Year’s. Ahhh, what to say about New Year’s…

Well, for one, it’s a holiday about reflecting on the past year and seeing how our lives have changed, both for the better and for the worse. Maybe you finally dumped that boyfriend who considered the McDonald’s drive-through a nice date, or maybe you worked really hard and got a 4.0. Ahem, like your girl over here. Thank you very much.

Maybe this year, you lost some people you love, or maybe you found out that someone close to you is sick. Maybe you learned a lot about yourself, how strong you can be when faced with adversity, and what’s really important to you in life.

Whatever happened for you this past year, I truly hope your 2014 was filled with love.

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Let’s not forget that New Year’s is also a time to make resolutions for the future. Many people set out to lose weight in the new year, kick a nasty habit, or take up a new hobby to improve their lives.

I always try to be very specific and realistic with my New Year’s resolutions, so as to not fall short. In 2012, for example, I opted to floss every single day. Not only did I meet my goal by flossing every day in 2012, I have now continued the habit well into 2014 (and hopefully 2015 and so on), and now floss twice per day.

My resolution for 2015 is to improve my posture, which, granted, is not terrible. After standing for long periods of time, however, I often forget how I look. I hope to be more mindful of this in the new year. What are your New Year’s resolutions? Tweet them to me and I might retweet you!

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But to me, the most important part of this holiday is undoubtedly the celebration leading up to (and following) midnight. New Year’s is supposed to be a holiday filled with friends, family, fancy attire, glitter, confetti, fireworks, noisemakers, silly hats and glasses, music, dancing, laughter, and lots and lots of champagne. And who doesn’t love a glass of champagne?

Unfortunately, I haven’t always gotten along with New Years. The first big New Years Eve I can remember is when I was seven years old and the world rang in the new millennium. After that, my New Year’s celebrations haven’t been that memorable. Even my freshman year of college, I stayed at home with my parents and fell asleep after the East Coast celebration. My sophomore and junior years, I partied with my friends in Lake Tahoe, but I wasn’t 21 yet, so I couldn’t get into any bars. Last year, I didn’t make any plans, then tried to wing it the night of NYE. A piece of advice: never try to wing a holiday like New Years Eve.

So this year, I’ve organized a party bus for thirty of my friends to drive around the Reno/Tahoe area while listening to some music and drinking the abundance of champagne we have stocked up. Hopefully this year will finally be a New Years Eve worth remembering. I hope yours is, too. Cheers!

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101 Ways to Enjoy Christmas Break

1. Listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” even if you have to play it on the jukebox at your local watering hole. Definitely not a true story…

2. Make a gingerbread house.

3. Read The Polar Express.

4. Go shopping for Christmas presents. Buy a little something for yourself.

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5. Bake some snicker doodles.

6. Watch my all-time favorite Christmas movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

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7. Wear one of those stupid ties with the Santa Clauses on it.

8. Find the perfect Christmas tree.

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9. Decorate said Christmas tree.

10. Send hand-written Christmas cards.

11. Wear an overwhelming amount of tartan.

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12. Make some peppermint bark.

13. Go see The Nutcracker Ballet live.

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15. Drink some warm apple cider. Fireball optional.

15. Sit on Santa’s lap.

16. Have a snowball fight.

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17. Turn off your television and have a real conversation with someone.

18. Bake a cranberry swirl cheesecake.

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19. Write and send your Christmas wish list.

20. Decorate you home with Christmas lights.

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21. Bake shortbread.

22. Make snow angels.

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23. Hang a wreath on your front door.

24. Watch Frozen. Bonus points if it’s the sing-along version.

25. Attend an ugly sweater party. Because that theme isn’t overdone or anything.

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26. Make Christmas tree ornaments.

27. Listen to Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song.”

28. Roast chestnuts on an open fire.

29. Give away unwanted coats, socks, etc. to the less fortunate.

30. Catch snowflakes on your tongue.

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31. Drink egg nog. Whether or not you spike it with bourbon, make sure you don’t buy any of that low-calorie nonsense.

32. Watch Love Actually. Tissues recommended.

33. Take a stroll down Main Street all decked out in holiday décor.

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34. Bake a fruitcake. Realize how disgusting it is. Throw it away. Wonder why that is a Christmas tradition in the first place.

35. Reminisce on Christmases of the past.

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36. Wrap Christmas presents for your loved ones.

37. Cozy up by a fire.

38. Eat a whole box of candy canes.

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39. Go see a nativity play.

40. Listen to Bing Crosby’s “Mele Kalikimaka” and dream about a holiday on the islands.

41. If you live in New York City, take in all the wonder of Christmas in NYC. If you don’t, just dream about it.

42. If you can, go see the Rockettes live in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Otherwise, watch it online.

43. Watch Home Alone.

44. Watch Home Alone 2. We all know the second one was better, anyway. I mean, how jealous of Kevin McCallister were you during this scene…

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45. Bake some gingerbread men.

46. Give presents to your neighbors, your mailman, your paper boy, the security guard in your office building, and so on. Tis’ the season.

47. Go sledding.

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48. Go to your hometown’s Christmas parade.

49. Bake an apple pie.

50. Wish “Merry Christmas” to everyone.

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51. Play card games and board games with your family, like this Christmas trivia game.

52. Watch A Christmas Story.

53. Catch up with old friends over a drink.

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54. Decorate your home with fresh garland, Christmas decorations, and scented candles.

55. Watch the cartoon version of Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas on ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas.

56. Drink some hot cocoa.

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57. Attend a white elephant gift exchange party. If you don’t know of any, host one for your friends!

58. Watch Elf.

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59. Drink some Bailey’s Irish Cream.

60. Hang some mistletoe. You never know what could happen…

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61. Dress up your pets in silly holiday attire. Laugh. Snapchat it. Laugh some more.

62. Find a container of these cookies. Eat three before realizing they’re kind of gross. Wonder where they came from. Repeat.

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63. Watch Jingle All the Way. Wonder how Arnold Schwarzenegger ever became a governor.

64. Bake these yummy oatmeal butterscotch cookies from my friend’s blog, Fit Foodie Life.

65. Go ice skating.

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66. Keep an advent calendar countdown unit Christmas.

67. Donate to Toys for Tots or adopt an angel through the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas tree program.

68. Listen to Bobby Helm’s “Jingle Bell Rock.” Do the dance from Mean Girls. Or don’t. Whatever flies your sleigh.

69. Watch the cartoon movie Frosty the Snowman.

70. Build your own snowman.

71. Take embarrassing holiday photos with your family.

72. Pop lots of corn to make popcorn balls and popcorn garland. Try not to snack on the popcorn along the way. Fail miserably.

73. Watch The Santa Clause.

74. Drink a holiday-inspired Starbucks drink from one of their infamous red cups.

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75. Warm up some mulling spices to give your home a cheerful aroma.

76. Find out where Santa Claus is right now!

77. Bake a pecan pie.

78. Watch the black-and-white version of Miracle on 34th Street.

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79. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater. Have no shame in doing so.

80. Hang your stockings by the fireplace.

81. Go Christmas caroling.

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82. Make fudge from scratch.

83. Eat peppermint ice cream. Realize how terrible it is. Switch back to candy canes.

84. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

85. Stock up on holiday-inspired beers.

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86. Watch Die Hard, if that’s your thing. I’ve never seen it, but apparently it has some Christmas-y elements?

87. Go skiing or snowboarding.

88. Listen to Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

89. Bake and decorate sugar cookies.

90. Pretend you’re a kid again and leave milk and cookies out for Santa Claus. Believe.

91. Read The Night Before Christmas.

92. Attend a Christmas Eve service.

93. Watch Disney’s Christmas Day Parade on tv.

94. Spend quality time with your family. After all, Christmas is all about togetherness.

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95. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life.

96. Drink some mulled wine.

97. Savor a lovely Christmas dinner with your family.

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98. Score some amazing deals by shopping the day after Christmas.

99. Start planning out your new year’s resolutions.

100. Ring in the new year with good friends, a sparkly dress, a midnight kiss, and lots of champagne.

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101. Relax and enjoy having no homework!

What are your favorite ways to spend Christmas break? Show or tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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Crawl, Don’t Walk

For those of you who don’t know, yesterday was, like, a really big deal. First and foremost, it was Queen Taylor’s 25th birthday.

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Second, yesterday was 12-13-14, the last sequential date any of us will ever see in our lifetimes. (Unless you don’t smoke, eat all of your vegetables, and live to be over 100. #Goals).

The most important part of yesterday, however, took place after the sun went down. Yes, yesterday, all over the nation, people suited up and partied down for the annual Santa Crawl. For those of you who live under a rock or somehow don’t know, the Santa Crawl is an annual event in which thousands of people go bar-to-bar in their raunchiest holiday attire and get lit like Christmas trees. Cause, you know…the holidays.

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Reno Santa Crawl 2013

See? I was not lying when I said literally thousands of people attend this annual event. It’s only, like, the biggest event of the year. During the Santa Crawl, it seems that everywhere you turn, you can find nutcrackers, snowmen, and of course, plenty of Santa Clauses, all partaking in a glass of spiked egg nog or three. Ne’er was a merrier time on the tinsel-lined streets of downtown Reno.

This year, over 50 bars in downtown Reno hosted DJs, costume contests, drink specials, and free cover charges in honor of the festivities.

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Trying to stop by each venue is nearly impossible, and with the freezing temperatures and long lines, attempting to do so would essentially ruin the entire night. That’s why it’s best to just stick to one of the designated circuits: Candy Cane Lane (for the uncreative drunks), Santa’s Workshop (pepper spray recommended), Naughty Alley (only if you’re over 30), Elves’ Playground (no height limit), or Reindeer Town (for those who grow their beards organically).

Seeing that it was my last Santa Crawl in Reno (although I do look forward to my first D.C. Santa Crawl), I decided to make last night a memorable one.

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One of the most important decisions one must make when deciding to crawl is, of course, the choice of costume. For my first crawl, when I was “21” I was a present…

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Notice the red satin, which conveniently tied into a bow in the back.

When I was 21, I was a gingerbread girl…

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Pre-people ripping off my gumdrop buttons. Not my gumdrop buttons 💔😭

So this year, as a 6-foot-tall 22-year-old, I decided to go as the tallest elf in history…

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#PenthouseBalconyLife #QuickTakeAPictureBeforeIFreeze

 Besides, maybe, this elf…

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I must say, last night was one for the books. There’s no time like the Santa Crawl to deck the dolls in red and green, get merloaded, and meet someone special under the mistletoe. Thank you to every friend I ever had the chance to crawl with, thank you to my friends with the penthouse balcony for keeping the wine flowing before the real party began, and thank you to the Reno Santa Crawl for giving me three amazing nights during my time here.

Do you have a funny picture from your city’s Santa Crawl? Tweet them to me and I might retweet you!

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Finals, Freshman Year vs. Senior Year

A lot can change in four years.

When you realize it’s time to start studying for finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Getting ready to go study

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Trying to study in the library

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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LOL NOPE #StudyingAtHome

Fall semester finals

Freshman year:

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via Twitter

Senior year:

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Spring semester finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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This will do.

Not drinking because you have to study

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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While studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Calculating what grade you need on the final in order to pass the class

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Deciding whether or not you should stop studying and just go for the passing grade

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Study in groups

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Your relationship with coffee

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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When you realize how long you’ve been studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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After five minutes…

Trying to balance sleep and studying

Freshman year:

SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK

SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK

Senior year:

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When your mom calls you while you’re studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Trying to find time to relax during finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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After hours of studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Checking in with your professor before the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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How you think you’ll do on the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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During the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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After you finish the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Checking your final grade

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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How you feel when you’re finally done with all of your finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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When you’re a freshman, all you can see are four more years of finals ahead. By the time you’re a senior, however, you already have yours eyes on that sweet, sweet prize — your degree. May 16th, here I come!

Disagree? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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Studying Sucks. This Will Help.

The time is upon us again, my friends, when college students across the nation lock themselves in the library with nothing but backpacks full of textbooks they haven’t opened all semester, and enough packets of instant coffee to give someone a heart attack. That’s right, it’s finals season.

Any seasoned college student knows that the best way to survive finals is to take regular breaks while studying. So, in honor of mentality sanity, I have compiled some of my favorite animal GIFs. Relax, enjoy, and good luck with finals!

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Which GIF is your favorite? Tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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A Look Back at This Semester

It seems like just yesterday that I returned home from Washington, D.C., moved into my first apartment, and embarked upon my last Fall semester as an undergraduate. Sometimes, we all get so caught up in school, work, clubs, our social lives, our families, our relationships, and our daily to-do lists that, before we know it, an entire 16-week semester has passed us by.

If you read this post, you know that I love taking time to reflect. So, in the spirit of personal reflection, let’s recap this semester, shall we?

There were new beginnings…

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My bedroom in my new downtown apartment

And chapters closed…

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I turned 22…

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Oh, Zephyr Cove

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And caught up on much needed beauty sleep…

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There were surprises…

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Celebrations…

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And remembrances…

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In memory of the lives lost during the 9-11-2001 attacks

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There were big moments…

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Serving as the Chapter President for the College Republicans

With Reno's Mayor at the time, Bob Cashell

With Reno’s former mayor, Bob Cashell

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At the Nevada Governor’s Mansion before walking in the Nevada Day Parade

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With Nevada’s 2nd District Representative, Congressman Mark Amodei

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Presenting my “idea worth spreading” to the University of Nevada

Little moments…

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And sassy moments…

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There were group projects…

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Early morning classes…

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Long days at work…

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Long days in the library…

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And lots and lots of Starbucks…

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via Twitter

I spent far too much time with this guy…

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And not enough time with these guys…

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There were quiet indulgences…

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Christening my new apartment with a margarita

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And rambunctious ones…

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There were Sunday mornings in church…

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And Sundays watching football…

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There were campus events…

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Football games…

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Weddings…

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Festivals…

Reno's annual Italian Festival

Reno’s annual Italian Festival

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And birthdays…

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I added to my stuffed giraffe collection…

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And had a few good laughs…

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There were new places…

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Familiar faces…

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New friendships were formed…

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And apparently I took a selfie to commemorate it all!

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Looking back, I’m reminded of all the wonderful memories I made this semester. When all is said and done, I think this semester was a successful one, and maybe even one of my favorites. Clearly, I had a lot of happy moments, and I learned from my moments of doubt. I reminisced on the time I spent in D.C., and I made a little home in my new apartment. I must say, however, that my favorite part of this semester was being surrounded by such incredible people.

Now, I have one final semester of college to look forward to! Ahhhh, that feels so weird to say!

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What was your favorite part of this semester? Show or tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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The Season of Giving

Tis’ the season! With all the excitement of the holidays, it’s easy to forget what Christmas is really about: giving back to others. Though I love curling up with a peppermint hot cocoa and Christmas movie as much as the next elf, it’s nice to set aside some time during the holiday season to do some good for the community. Here are some ideas for how you can lend a helping hand:

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Clean out your closet and donate unwanted coats, socks, and clothing to drives like One Warm Coat.

Grab a friend and volunteer at your local soup kitchen.

Make a child’s Christmas special by donating to Toys for Tots.

Give a family the holiday meal they deserve by donating to or volunteering at your local food bank.

Play Santa and get someone exactly what they want or need this Christmas by adopting a family through the Salvation Army.

Help deliver holiday meals by volunteering with Meals on Wheels.

There are plenty of other local secular and non-secular organizations that need extra volunteers and donations during the holiday season. Look up one in your community!

Because you’re college students and I know you need an incentive, remember that volunteer work looks good on a résumé, and can count toward class credits or service hours for your sorority or fraternity. More than that, however, giving back makes you feel good, and reminds you what this season is all about. You may never know how your service touched someone else’s life, but they will, and you’ll both be glad you did it.

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Where do you like to volunteer? Send me a picture of you volunteering this holiday season and I might retweet you!

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