Wednesday, April 17, 2013

8 reasons why finals week is actually not the worst.

There are a lot of awful things about BYU finals week. There really are. But by my 7th experience, I've noticed a few things that I actually enjoy about it. Yes, I said it. Call me crazy, but I secretly kind of like finals week. A little bit. Wanna know why?

1. It's completely acceptable to eat an excessive amount of junk food during finals week. The Cougar Eat and Twilight Zone lines are longer than ever, full of people making exceptions to their diets because, well, they deserve it. Extra stress burns extra calories, right?

2. During finals week, BYU's everyday pageant show is nonexistent. Grungy clothes, smelly bodies, unkempt hair, bad breath... this description fits almost every student at one point or another. It just happens.

3. Music is a saving grace. I always make a playlist of my very favorite songs of all time to get me through the week, and I enjoy them even more than usual.

4. The pink and purple blossoms of the campus trees come alive just in time for winter semester finals. The tulips also make their appearance. Big, bright flowerbeds full of them. They even survived the snow this time, because they knew how much we would need them. Just like always.

5. The smallest of successes are celebratory during finals week, and the smallest of kind deeds are greatly appreciated.

6. If you're a people watcher like myself, you'll find great humor in finals week. Students are insane. They run around like chickens with their heads cut off, hustling from place to place to place. (Yesterday I watched a poor zoobie sprint all the way across campus at full speed... with a severe limp of the left leg. Picture it now.) When they're not hustling, they lock themselves indoors, and don't come out for hours at a time. These hermits cause the library to exceed its capacity. They also cause it to stink like the smelly bodies mentioned in #2. Ok, maybe I don't enjoy that particular part... but hey, it's a little bit funny.

7. I like to push myself, and finals week is always a stretch. I like to watch scores appear on the screen in the testing center that I didn't think were possible given the circumstances. (Doesn't always happen, but it's satisfying when it does!) Things always work out, and it's a fascinating process to watch when you just can't figure out how they will. It's cool.

8. Most of all, I like finals week because it builds up to one big party the following weekend. Get your party on, y'all. We're almost there.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

City baby.

All my life, I've lived in the beautiful little city of Mapleton, UT. I've loved it. I loved being able to run in the streets and play in nearby fields. Our young neighborhood crew caught grasshoppers in mason jars and dared one another to eat them, chased deer until we couldn't run any longer, swam in the irrigation ditches and splashed in the wet fields, spent hours playing on the pear tree swing with popsicles in hand, and played "wolf" and other invented night games during the warm summer months. It was the ideal small town childhood, and I swore I would never outgrow it.

And I haven't. I visit it often, and I still appreciate the feel of that pretty place. It will always be home.  However, in recent years, I've also learned to appreciate diversity. I love my visits to the city; I'm becoming a city baby. This past weekend, my family headed to Chicago to visit Ryan and Marilyn. That breath of fresh air came at exactly the right time. Back in the big leagues, with so many different kinds of buildings, people, entertainment, food, music, and transportation. Bigger ideas and more to choose from. A break from the calm of Utah.


Although it used to make me claustrophobic, I'm really beginning to enjoy the feeling of not being able to see what's miles ahead of me . I like it when the skyscrapers block my view. I'm starting to like the unknown.

In the end, I'll always go back to the small town feel. I know I will. But for the time being, I'm loving how those cities are calling my name.