As December rolls around, the average college student faces a common dilemma: balancing studying with holiday celebration. If you spend all of your time studying, you face the risk of missing out on all of that holiday cheer. If you allow yourself to be completely submerged by holiday cheer, you face the risk of failing your exams. Then, you’ll have to explain to your parents why you placed gingerbread house decorating above studying for origins of civilization on your list of priorities. Here, I propose a solution to this dilemma, which combines everything you hate about studying with everything you love about the holiday season.

1. Use your favorite holiday songs as a study tool.  Simply replace the words of your favorite jam with information from the notes you should be studying. For example, instead of singing the words “All I want for Christmas is you,” sing “All I want for Christmas are two types of fermentation which are alcohol fermentation and lactic acid fermentation.” Pass your biology final in no time.

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2. Make festive decorations out of your lecture notes. All the paper you’ve used throughout the semester to copy down information will provide you with a seemingly endless supply of paper chains and paper snowflakes. Dates from your history class will stare at you from the backs of snowflakes as you string them from your ceiling. Chemical equations will line the surface of each individual paper chain. You will inadvertently memorize all the information you need as you turn your living space into a winter wonderland.  

3. Bake holiday treats. The practice of baking can actually be quite relaxing, not to mention there is an otherworldly amount of sugar in an individual Christmas cookie. Imagine the energy you’ll have after consuming an entire batch of them by yourself! An all-nighter will seem as easy as the pie you just finished baking in order to relieve all of your pent-up stress. Additionally, it might be beneficial to offer some of these baked goods to your professors. With any luck, this little bit of holiday cheer will be reflected back onto your final exam grade. After all, ‘tis the season of giving.

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4. Wear Christmas sweaters to every final exam. Just because your exams are making you die inside doesn’t mean that your wardrobe has to reflect that. Gather as many fun Christmas outfits as you can and wear them all in succession. As you prance into your testing locations draped in garlands and bells, people will wonder how you keep your spirits so high in such dark times. If they scoff at your cheer, be sure to throw large handfuls of tinsel in their direction to brighten their moods.

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5. Know when to take a break with some hot cocoa. As you work hard and push towards the end of the semester, be sure to remember that it’s OK to take a break. Drink some hot cocoa and decompress before you get back to your studying. This will help you be a little happier and more productive in the future. Bear in mind that soon, all of this stress will end, and you will be home for the holidays basking in tidings of comfort and joy.

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