Sips Tea: Surviving the Rest of 2016

Photo courtesy of C. Cassandra

Photo courtesy of C. Cassandra

Three tissue boxes and one large bowl of chicken noodle soup later, and I am finally sitting down to write this last article for the semester. It is safe to say that the four papers I had due back-to-back right after Thanksgiving did not give me much time to enjoy my food coma…or leftovers for that matter. Tragically, after making it through the entire semester illness-free, a cold has snatched my whole life this week of all weeks.

To update anyone who is curious about the cliffhangers I ended with in my last article pre-Thanksgiving: My sister and Oregon’s volleyball team beat USC, my parents loved my man, and all in all, Thanksgiving surprisingly went on without any drama — well, major drama. I could tell you about an altercation that went down at In-N-Out involving my entire family, or about this fraud Uber experience my mom had, or about how I chopped off all of my hair, but in keeping with the holiday spirit I thought I would impart some more positive advice instead.

Whether this is your first round of finals or your last, it is never an easy time of the year. I’ve never been someone who found herself in the library at early hours of the morning or someone who crammed; I think I am somewhere right in the middle of “Jesus, take the wheel” and “I should probably look over this study guide at least once.” So for anyone out there that either feels like they’re doing too much or not doing enough, the first thing I would tell you is to just take a deep breathe, maybe a big sip of coffee, and to remember that in the end, grades don’t define your life.

That is, unless you’re trying to go to any type of graduate school…then you should probably be studying and not reading this.

If you are celebrating any holidays that involve gift-giving this season, try not to let it turn you into the crazy person we all know from the infamous Black Friday videos. So often people forget the actual reason for the season. Holidays are not meant to be about “stuff.” Don’t get me wrong, they say you can’t buy happiness, but a new pair of shoes usually makes me pretty happy. But, remember that it’s about presence not presents. Sounds similar, but they’re very different. Enjoy the moments with family, friends, or even getting to sleep in a little longer over the break. Don’t take the home-cooked meals for granted. And most importantly, be thankful for everything else in between. While the holidays are usually a stressful time for many reasons, it is also a great time to remind yourself what is really important.

New Year’s is full of resolutions that never see their fulfillment. I know I’ve been that person that says she is going to eat better, work out more, ready more books, and the list goes on. Set goals that are realistic and achievable, and then you’ll actually end up feeling accomplished. Rather than promising yourself you’ll climb Mount Kilimanjaro, maybe make it a point to take a hike with friends at least once next semester. Instead of going from being the burger queen to vegan in one foul swoop, tell yourself you’ll start trying healthy recipes once a week at home. Starting small usually creates the best habits and in no time, you’ll be checking off those to-do’s on your list for 2017.

I personally am very much looking forward to the end of the semester. I’ll be turning 22, I’ll have one more semester at USC left, and hopefully, I’ll have beaten this cold (pray for me). But before any of us can turn in our final blue books of 2016, we have to survive these last couple of weeks. So with that, it’s back to studying and sippin’ some tea (literally…my throat is killing me).

I’ll see you in 2017! New Year, New Me. Who Dis?