Today's guest blogger is Ilana Strauss, a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a regular contributor to Campus Overload. Ilana has interned at the Jerusalem Post and the Scripps-Howard Foundation.
A few weeks ago, you were probably frantically writing papers, studying and finishing projects. Now that finals are over, you are stuck with the sinking feeling that no one will ever read your final paper about environmental activism in the 1960s or watch your business ethics PowerPoint.
And the textbooks? You'll either sell them back to a bookstore, or, in the depressingly likely circumstance that next year's professors decide that they are outdated, stuff them in some closet.
But fear not. There are ways to turn your finals-related junk into beautiful artwork!
Fold a term paper into a hat, origami-style. Wear it around campus. If anyone makes fun of you, say, "At least I don't look like a hipster." If the person making fun of you is a hipster, tell him it's a new indie fashion that he doesn't know about because he's too mainstream.
Cut your term paper into strips and use them to make papier-mache. You can make a bowl, a pinata -- even a dartboard featuring the likeness of the TA who totally should have given you more participation points.
Cut out the photos from your textbook and put them all over your dorm room for decoration. Next semester, you can zone out after reading your new textbooks, look at them and wonder what concepts they were trying to illustrate before shrugging and saying, "Who cares? I'll never need to know."
Convince some eclectic art collector that the PowerPoint you made about administrative statistics is an ironic performance piece. Sell it for millions. Or convince some business magazine that the sketch you drew for "Fundamentals of Art" is a metaphor for current economic circumstances. Sell it for millions.
Crumble short stories you wrote for some creative writing class into balls. Stick them on some broken pencils, attach a few dried-up leaves left over from fall and put them in a vase. You'll have a beautiful bouquet! Probably the closest thing you'll see to greenery in the next few months.
Glue together your broken pencils and used pens to make a bird feeder. Throw in some leftovers. Birds won't come, but if you are lucky, you might get a visit from overweight campus squirrels!
Remember that Spanish presentation you gave? Film it in black and white and call it an indie foreign film. Remember to include long shots of people just standing there and add vaguely Russian-sounding music.
Use the paperclips from your papers to make a necklace. You can give it to your girlfriend for her birthday. After all, now that you've flunked Investing 101, you'll never be able to afford anything else.
Shred your practice tests. Fill your room with the shreddings and tell people that you love snow so much that you want to bring a representation of it inside! If they stare at you in shock, tell them that you are from out of state and have never seen snow. They'll nod, and with almost straight faces, they'll tell you that you're in for a fun season.
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