Survival guide

How to survive the last month of school

1. Limit the time you “dick around”

Many people suffer from procrastination and I, folks, am one of those people. For example, the deadline for this article was today at noon. Well, it’s 9:55 p.m. and I am just getting around to writing it. This is not good. Procrastination is not good. Even if you tell yourself you “work well under pressure,” you don’t. Cramming for a test or writing a 12-page paper in 4 hours is not going to produce your best work, so put down your Gameboy and/or Discman and/or whatever electronic device takes up most of your time and start doing some homework already.

2. Get fresh air and exercise

It’s finally starting to feel nice outside. Go for a hike, soak up some vitamin D, and find some inner peace. You will feel refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of finals week that are headed your way.

3. Avoid becoming a slave to caffeine

It may be tempting to reach for a Rockstar or a double shot espresso latte every time an assignment is due or a test needs to be taken, but relying heavily on caffeine will do nothing but make you a slave and a crazy person. I know; after consuming at least 600mg of the jittery substance, I threw my backpack across the room and screamed at my literary theory book (specifically Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak). Caffeine sort of helped me write my theory paper, but mostly it just turned me into a really strung-out, hyperactive nutcase with an unusual violent streak. In other words, I was edgy to the max. Save the caffeine for when you really, really need it; otherwise, stick to a balanced diet, adequate sleep and meditation.

Be aware

*You may feel as though your entire self-worth is dependent upon your performance in school. It is not. You are still a good person even if Spivak kicks your butt.
*Finals will sneak up on you. Keep some kind of day planner to help manage your time or else you may fall behind.
*Don’t become desperate and plagiarize. It’s never a good idea (unless it works, but it won’t … plus, you’ll have to worry about your conscience/karma).

How to survive being a liberal in Happy Valley

Hang out where you are welcomed

Finding a place in Utah County where you and your “wacko ideas” and “lack of morals” are accepted might be a bit tricky, but it is possible. Try visiting local coffee shops, tattoo parlors, or Indie Row (between 100 and 200 North University Avenue in Provo) to feel a sense of camaraderie. Or, just spend your free time in the LA building.

Cover up that wrist tattoo with a chunky bracelet or large watch

Now I realize not all tattooed folks are socialist baby killers, but there’s a good chance that in the Orem/Provo area, that tattooed chick leans left. Ink on the body isn’t looked upon too kindly by a good majority here, so when interacting with those of opposing beliefs, it’s best to just hide that tatt lest unfair judgment be placed upon ye progressive soul (or lack thereof).

Don’t attend Stadium of Fire

Unless you are a masochist, avoid anything that welcomes Glenn Beck, the Jonas Brothers, and blind patriotism with open arms. Speaking of arms, also avoid anything that welcomes firearms with open arms AKA a gun show or the local NRA chapter.

Be aware

*Although you may be heckled and ridiculed for your “radical” politics, don’t let those darn conservatives get the best of you. Be peaceful, be kind, and be open-minded.
*Don’t expect to change everyone’s mind. You won’t.
*You may feel like the only liberal in the world, but there are others out there like you. You are not alone. Take comfort in that fact.

How to survive awkward run-ins with exes in the hall

Stay out of the hall

In other words, avoid places where there is a high possibility you will see past loves. Date a lot of musicians? Then don’t hang around Velour. Had a tryst with a professor? Then don’t take a class from him or her. It’s really that simple; just use your head and plan ahead.

Avoid eye contact

Personally, I try to avoid eye contact with everyone due to social anxiety. And you know how eyes are a window to the soul? Creepy and scary. I don’t want to see into anyone’s soul; that seems like it would just lead to a lot of responsibility. By diverting your eyes, you can easily walk past (but walk fast) your ex without having to stop for the painfully uncomfortable small talk that tends to accompany a run-in.

Make sure you look really good all the time

Imagine how much less awkward the run-in will be for you if you look, like, really hot. I mean, hotter than you’ve ever looked before. Turn the potentially awkward moment into a “look-what-you-gave-up” moment. Is this a bit shallow? Yes. Yes, it is.

Be aware

*Run-ins will happen, despite your best efforts.
*You may feel shaken up after seeing an ex, but just remember that whatever happened is in the past and that you are better off without him/her. Unless you are not. In that case, uh, sorry?
*The mind usually makes the situation worse than what it really is/was. Just know that.

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