Colbi: How to Survive Finals

Colbi Blog

The end of the semester is on the horizon, and I think I speak for all of us when I say I am so excited for winter break. After a long semester of homework, essays and Zoom meetings, I am ready to sit down and relax. But, before we get there, we have to make it through finals. So, I’m going to give you some tips on how you can end this semester on a high note!

First, stay organized. I keep up with all of my assignments and tests three ways: Google calendar, the My Study Life app and by writing down my daily tasks in a notebook (it’s nice to cross things out when I’m done). If you stay organized, you will be able to properly plan ahead for the things you need to do, which will help you avoid pulling all-nighters and unnecessary stress.

Second, take breaks. Whenever I finish long tasks, I try to take at least a 15 minute break to get a snack, watch a YouTube video or just take some deep breaths. I think it’s important to find a great work flow, but your mental health should be a priority. You are working hard and you deserve a break.

Third, try to make study groups! Find a few people in your class who you can hop on a Zoom call with and go over the information you need to know for your tests. You can even screen share Quizlets or Kahoots, which are great ways to learn virtually.  These peers will be great resources for support and some fun studying during a stressful time.

Lastly, it’s important to make time for physical exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym for an hour and run three miles everyday. But, you can go take a short walk or do some relaxing yoga. Exercise is always important, but it is especially so during a time when we are sitting down, staring at blue light all day long. Get out and get moving in any way you can — it’s a great way to clear your head and you will feel great afterwards!

Do all of the things you can to take care of yourself — mentally and physically — this finals season. If you need any additional encouragement here it is: I believe that you are prepared for your exams and are going to do great!! Good luck everyone!

Gillian: 4 Underrated Places Outside of the BU Bubble

It’s that time of year. The weather is getting colder, the days are getting gloomy and your assignments are piling on. Add the pandemic into that equation, and it’s easy to just stay in your dorm room or apartment 24/7. Even venturing out to places on campus may seem like a daunting task this semester. I get that.

But! The BU bubble is real, and you deserve a break. This semester, what I’ve found particularly helpful for my mental health is going off on solitary adventures. This could mean buying myself a donut just for the heck of it or setting aside some time to go on an extra long walk. Living in Coolidge Corner, I’ve been discovering some really awesome places that aren’t talked about quite as much as, say, Harvard Square or the North End. 

Here are my favorite places this semester:

1) When Pigs Fly

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This incredible local bakery has delicious flavored breads like Sun-dried Tomato and Basil, or their current seasonal flavor, Pumpkin Cranberry Apple (10/10 recommend). Every Wednesday, they sell $2 loaves of freshly baked sourdough, and every Saturday they sell giant, delicious donuts. I’ve been working my way through the donut flavors and most recently got the Walnut Apple Strudel. Delish.

This place is about a block away from me, so Brookline kids rejoice! But, it isn’t far from campus, either. Coolidge is about a 30-minute walk away, or a quick ride on the green line.

2) Brookline Reservoir Park

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This is my favorite find of the semester, but I’ve never heard anyone mention it. Probably because it’s a trip, but I really do think it’s worth it. Located near Brookline Village, this park has a one-mile gravel lined path around the reservoir (can’t you just hear that crunch of the gravel?).

It’s peaceful and really nice to be near water that is blue and sparkling, unlike the Charles. It’s about a thirty-minute walk from Brookline. You can also walk here from campus if you’ve got a nice chunk of time to spare, but you can take the green D line shuttle to get you a lot closer.

3) Athan’s Bakery

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Now that the weather is finally colder, you may be in the mood for coffees, teas and hot chocolates. Well, Athan’s has that and so much more (including authentic pastries and chocolates). Located in the (highly underrated) Washington Square, Athan’s is a great place to get some sweet treats. And it’s an easy train ride on the C line! 

4) The Fenway Victory Gardens

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Okay, okay, I’ll include one thing that’s actually close to campus. If you went to in-person orientation, you may recognize this one. Tucked into Fenway, there’s this beautiful little community garden. These gardens were actually created as victory gardens during WWII! It’s a lovely place to walk around and feel connected to both nature and the Fenway community, and it’s an easy walk from campus.

Nick: What I Gained From Being On-Campus This Semester

http://www.bu.edu/articles/2020/covid-19-testing-for-bu-students-faculty-and-staff/
http://www.bu.edu/articles/2020/covid-19-testing-for-bu-students-faculty-and-staff/

When BU allowed students to return to campus this fall, I had no idea what to expect. At the end of August I only took two weeks worth of clothes with me to school, believing that my time in Boston would be short-lived. Hybrid learning, multiple COVID tests a week, and no visitors seemed like a lofty goal for the University to achieve. It took me until mid-October to realize that the world hadn’t ended and I was living many students’ dreams of being on campus. I am so glad I decided to return to BU.

This semester has been full of unforeseen opportunities for me. I was lucky enough to be part of BUTV10’s “The Vote,” which was our TV station’s election coverage program. As the alumni correspondent, I interviewed various BU alumni like Channing Curtis and Adrian Thomas  successful journalists from across the country  about their thoughts on battleground states, the event of a contested election, and many other problems that seem insignificant now. I was also part of the writing team. We wrote tosses for our anchors to lead into segments, and on election night we wrote polling updates. The process was made even better by our ability to use the studio  with the proper safety precautions  to do the show. 

The energy when putting together a show like that is unbeatable. It’s the adrenaline rush you get when you’re playing basketball with a cohesive team and everyone keeps sinking shots. It’s the feeling of pulling off a showstopping song-and-dance number when the whole ensemble hits every note and lands every step. It’s the type of feeling I didn’t think I’d experience during a pandemic, and I couldn’t have experienced it in the same capacity at home.

“The Vote” was the product of over 50 brilliant students’ blood, sweat, and tears. If you’re sick of election talk, I understand. But if you’re not, please check out “The Vote” on BUTV10.com, it’s 4+ hours of outstanding reporting, intense hard work, and no advertisements. If you want a comprehensive look at the passion and drive of the students at BU’s College of Communications, “The Vote” is indicative of that passion. It’s that same passion that brought me to BU in the first place.

http://www.butv10.com/shows/the-vote-2020/
http://www.butv10.com/shows/the-vote-2020/

Ali: Learning How to Cook for Yourself

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For my junior year at BU, I decided to move into an apartment in South Campus. For the first time in my college career, I have my own room, my own bathroom, and my own kitchen. I also don’t have a dining plan. 

I spent a lot of nights eating cereal and instant oatmeal for dinner early on, and while that’s fine sometimes, it’s no way to live. Managing cooking for myself was a big transition from relying on the dining hall, so I’m here to share my knowledge with you. These are my top five tips for navigating cooking on your own for the first time!

1) Start practicing early

I cooked with my mom as often as I could while I was at home this past summer. This helped me learn a lot of basic skills, like knowing when meat is cooked through and how to chop veggies without losing a finger. It also allowed me to try out some new recipes while I still had a sous chef to help out.

2) Collect as many recipes as you can

I asked my mom for a copy of all the recipes she has that I like. I have a recipe app (not sponsored) that I use to keep track of them, but you could go old school and keep a recipe book too. I went on Pinterest and searched for easy recipes I thought sounded good. I asked my friends who already lived in apartments what they liked to cook for themselves. The more recipes you have that you want to try, the more fun cooking is and the less it feels like a chore.

3) Share cooking duties with your roommates

Why cook two separate meals when you don’t have to? Coordinate dinner plans with your roommates! Having each person make one or two meals a week cuts down on how much cooking you do individually. You can also try some new recipes in the process! And when all else fails, you can always opt to share the delivery fee on some takeout.

4) Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers

You may be tempted to only make enough food for one meal when you cook, but if you make an extra portion, you can put it in the fridge for later! I bought some single-portion storage containers, so when I’m done with dinner I can pack up the rest for lunches and dinners over the next few days. This spreads out how often you have to cook, and can be helpful if you don’t have a lot of time but need some food. You can also freeze leftovers — I like to make bigger batches of homemade spaghetti sauce and soups so I can reheat them later!

5) Stock up on frozen foods

One of the most important things you learn in college is to know your limitations. Sometimes, you just don’t have the time or desire to cook for yourself, but what do you do if you don’t have any leftovers in the fridge? Enter frozen foods. There are three essentials I keep my freezer stocked with: Trader Joe’s frozen entrees (my personal favorites are Chana Masala and Butter Chicken), chicken nuggets, and Bagel Bites.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you won’t become Gordon Ramsay overnight! It’s okay to make food that tastes bad or sets off the smoke alarms every once in a while. Be proud of your creations and you’ll be a master chef in no time.

Meredith: How I’ve Perfected My WFH Setup Over the Semester

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By now, many of us have been partaking in online activities for most of the semester. For me, that has meant attending two virtual classes and working from home for my internship for a full workday twice a week. This can lead to a lot of time in my room (or on the couch when I move to the living room for a change of scenery). 

I think there are a few essentials needed for a productive working environment in your room, and I have recently perfected my setup. Here are some tips and tricks that I have enjoyed utilizing!

1) Wrist support for your desk

I recentlygot one of these on Amazon because I started getting bad wrist pain from constantly typing on my laptop. My wrists were at a weird angle from the flatness of my desk, so the wrist rest I purchased props them up at an angle that prevents inflammation. It definitely works well and adds to my comfort when sitting at my desk for long periods of time! 

2) An essential oil diffuser

This is an excellent alternative to candles if you do not want to burn them or are not allowed to. I often use the peppermint or lemongrass scent because they promote productivity and also just make my space smell fresh and clean. I use mine almost every day when I am working in my room because they make my brain feel clear and ready to take on the day.

3) A lap desk

If you are like me and move between your desk, your bed and your couch, you definitely need one of these. There are a ton available on Amazon, and it will make working on your laptop or writing in a notebook so much easier because it gives you a nice flat workspace. If you are more comfortable, you will work better!

4) Decor that relaxes you

There are so many things you can do to make your room a little homier and relaxing. One of my favorite decor pieces in my room is my salt lamp. It creates such calming vibes with its warm light. I also have a little, round desk lamp that changes color and has multiple warm light settings that I love. It is small but it lights up my work area perfectly! My final piece to a perfect setup is a heated blanket. On cold nights, which we are getting more and more of, I plug it in to feel cozy as I do my homework. 

5) Taking care of yourself while working

This is the most important step. It can be easy to get caught up in virtual classes, virtual meetings, and virtual work without nourishing yourself. Keep yourself hydrated with multiple glasses of water and make sure you are eating when you get hungry! Take breaks and go outside for fresh air. Maybe do some quick stretches or meditate. Try and keep your workspace tidy as well so you do not get distracted by the mess. Do whatever it takes for you to feel refreshed in between virtual classes and meetings. 

This is what I have found helps me create a workspace where I feel cozy, comfortable, and productive. Different things work for different people, but if you are feeling lazy in your room, try out some of these tips to vamp up your space!

Joe: Virtual Games You Can Play During Thanksgiving Weekend

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Thanksgiving is all about great food and taking time to appreciate the good things in life while surrounded by family and friends. There’s still room for all of that this year, but chances are you won’t be surrounded by as many people.

Many families like to play games during the holiday, whether it’s football in the backyard or a card game in the living room, and while the pandemic will put a damper on this holiday season, there’s still an opportunity to have some fun with friends and family.

Of course, depending on who you’re spending Thanksgiving with, some of the close-proximity games may not be the best idea, but luckily there are several variations of classic games that you can play over Zoom. If you won’t be able to spend Thanksgiving with the people you usually celebrate with, this can allow you to at least keep some sense of normalcy.

In any case, here are a few games to get you started:

Uno

Starting off with a classic, Uno is a great source of fun and frustration, and the best part is it’s one of the more versatile games to play virtually. iPhone users can play each other in a knock-off version through GamePigeon, but there are also apps that allow you to play with anyone locally or online. 

It’s an easy game that practically everyone already knows how to play, and you can play with anyone who owns a phone. Maybe parents won’t like the idea of everyone staring at their phones during the holiday, but it’s a strong option you can’t really go wrong with.

Pictionary

Another party classic, Pictionary is an easy game that anyone can play. Not everyone owns a dry-erase board and markers, but by using Skribbl.io online for free, you can start a private game where anyone with the link can join. Set up a game, log on to Zoom, and suddenly you and your friends are having fun roasting each other’s artistic ability (or lack thereof). 

Cards Against Humanity

Be careful who you play this with; you may get into some uncomfortable situations. With the right group of people, though, it can turn into the highlight of your night. This popular card game is loaded with dark, adult humor, and you can play the game online for free.

There are several websites you can find with a simple Google search, but one that I like to use is called “All Bad Cards.” This allows you to set the game rules the way your group wants, and is pretty easy to operate.

Much like Pictionary, you can create a game, send your friends/family the link and hop on Zoom to play with those who are not with you in-person. It’s the perfect game for anyone who’s graduated from the kids’ table.

Get creative

If you don’t feel like playing any of the games above, there are plenty of other options to go for, as long as you can think of ways to play virtually. Games like Charades and Celebrity don’t require many materials in order to play, so it’s easy to sort out how to play over Zoom. Some rules may need to be tweaked to play other games virtually, but as long as it’s still fun, that’s all that matters.

No matter how you spend Thanksgiving weekend, the most important thing is to be able to safely relax and spend time with the people you’re celebrating with even if it has to be online.

Hannah: Why You Should Take AdLab

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It’s class registration season and you might feel stuck while choosing what classes to take this spring. If you are an advertising student with CM 217 (Intro to Ad) under your belt, I strongly encourage you to sign up for AdLab (CM 420). Yes, I might be biased as the current president of the agency, but hear me out! AdLab is an amazing opportunity at COM that you can’t miss. 

What exactly is AdLab? AdLab is the country’s largest student-run ad agency, operating out of BU COM. The agency functions as a class under the guidance of industry-expert faculty advisors and a student-run E-Board. Students in the class create real world work for real world clients. 

There are many reasons why I am madly in love with AdLab. Here are a few of the main ones: 

1. The work

Advertising is all about creating work designed to be seen by the public. But in most advertising classes, you are only creating work for your classmates’ and professor’s eyes. In AdLab, you get to see your work displayed in the real world on social media, billboards, web banners and more. It is thrilling to see the public respond to your work and a great preview of post-graduate work. Having your work out there is also a  fantastic portfolio builder. 

2. The internship aspect

COVID-19 has made the internship hunt extra difficult. AdLab is a fantastic substitute for an internship. You work with clients in the same way you would at an agency internship, and gain the same experience in the agency process. AdLab can also count for your CM CO 575 credit. COM CO 575 is a zero credit, undergrad professional experience required to be completed at least once by all students on the BU HUB. 

3. The roles

Students in AdLab are split up into teams with each individual having an ad agency role. These roles are assigned based on applications and interviews. The roles in AdLab include account executive, project manager, strategist, copywriter and art director. You can learn more about the specific duties of each role here. You are able to get a feel for what it’s like to work in a specific role before committing to the role in your job search! What better way to figure out what role you want than to test it out in AdLab? 

4. The clients

AdLab has CONNECTIONS. Students get to work with noteworthy clients including Hill Holliday, Aetna, Hasbro, Wayfair, Celebrity Cruises, Shriners Hospital for Children and many more. You get to produce work that creates an impact. You also get some pretty dope name drops. 

5. The students

AdLab students are the best of the best. You will get a chance to work alongside talented people and build your professional network. You also get practice working with a team, since almost all agency work is teamwork-based. 

6. The professors

AdLab is run by inspiring industry-expert faculty advisors Doug Gould and Michelle Sullivan. Gould’s career spans 30+ years as an art director and creative director. He spent 16 of those years at Hill Holliday where he helped create two Super Bowl commercials. Sullivan spent 17 years of her career at The Boston Beer Company where she oversaw multi-million dollar campaign initiatives, like the Samuel Adams Brewing campaigns and the American Dream philanthropic venture. Not only are they both widely successful, but they are welcoming and open. They take the time to work one-on-one with each student and provide meaningful mentorship.  

7. The opportunity for growth

By taking AdLab, you get the chance to move up to the student-run EBoard. This is a great leadership opportunity and a chance to get to know even more amazing AdLab peeps. Those on the EBoard can serve as directors, where they work one-on-one with students; or VPs, where they oversee a whole department. 

8. The guest speakers

The AdLab class functions as a weekly lecture. Often, inspiring leaders in the industry stop by to talk to us! We have had guest speakers from BBDO, Ogilvy, MullenLowe, Connelly Partners, Publicis, Martin Agency, Hill Holliday, Small Army, Droga5 and more. These speakers provide insider insights and are great networking connections.

So no duh! AdLab is an AMAZING opportunity! What are you waiting for? Seize the moment and take AdLab this spring. 

Jessica: Getting into the Holiday Spirit

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If you’re anything like me, the minute October 31 turns into November 1, the Halloween costume comes off and the Christmas music turns on. 

But this year, things feel different. Vibes have been off. Especially with all the stress in our lives right now as we navigate the pandemic, the elections, and the sad reality that the sky now gets dark at 4:30 p.m. (talk about heavy hitters!), it’s easy to get lost in the lows and forget to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year: the holiday season. 

Fret not! Here’s a list of things you can do to lift your spirits, and hopefully, have something to look forward to!

1. Cue up some good ol’ Christmas tunes

It sounds simple, but trust me – this one’s a game changer. Christmas music has this magical aura to it that’ll lift anyone’s spirits! Create a Christmas playlist (or follow one that already exists) and get ready to destress. 

2. Get festive with some holiday movies!

 

photo courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes
photo courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

photo courtesy of DirecTV
photo courtesy of DirecTV

I attached these two movies above because the holidays would be so much duller without them. Make yourself a steaming hot cup of hot cocoa, sit down with some snacks and a soft blanket, and live your comfiest life with a good holiday movie. 

3. Take a stroll around Coolidge Corner or Cambridge

These places look and feel so warm and exciting and celebratory and happy during the holiday season, especially when stores start putting up their Christmas decorations and lights. Make sure you wear a mask and be safe while you’re out!

4. Decorate your room – holiday style

Since the pandemic makes it difficult to go outside these days, spruce up your own room with some holiday-inspired decorations! Go wild and go crazy with Christmas lights, North Pole signs, Christmas stockings, a mini Christmas tree… the possibilities are endless! 

5. Plan a Secret Santa with friends

One of the most exciting parts about the holidays is giving and receiving gifts. Though it’s a little more difficult now to plan this with a big group of people, that doesn’t mean you have to ditch the idea entirely. Gather your housemates — or a group of your friends (virtually) — and start getting creative!

6. Write letters to your friends & family

Holidays aside, now is a good time to check in on your friends and family members to make sure they’re doing okay. While phone calls and video chats are pleasantly convenient, nothing sparks the same joy as receiving a handmade letter from a loved one!

7. Bake holiday cookies with your roommates

There’s nothing that will lift you up more than the process of baking and smelling a fresh batch of cookies. Plus, it’s a fun way to get your roommates involved in some group festivities. If cooking/baking isn’t an option, buy some good holiday-inspired food to warm your heart! 🙂

Festivities aside, this holiday season might seem very different than those in past years, and it most likely will be. It’s undeniable that there’s more stress in the air. But above all, we should remember to take care of ourselves and each other, and to prioritize our health first. That’s even more a reason to take a breath, sit back, and celebrate the good things that are to come.

Malaika: This One’s for the Music Lovers

5 Spotify Playlists to Help You Get Through Midterms

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I can’t believe it’s already November!  In a normal year, November means fall outings, pumpkin patches, apple picking, and gearing up for the family festivities that come with Thanksgiving and Winter Break.

This year, however, November takes on some new meanings. It’s midterm season, perhaps it’s your 8th month at home with family. It’s getting colder, so there are fewer things to do while we continue to stay safe during the pandemic. 

Now, I’ve always had Spotify, but I really didn’t get into curated playlists until quarantine started. Listening to music is a great way to shake up your at-home routine, or a great way to contemplate whatever mood you might be feeling during these times. As we continue through midterm season, you can listen to a playlist while you do homework, study, or when you just need a break. 

Here is my top 5 list of Spotify playlists to get you through the next few weeks (or at least before the holiday music starts playing):

  1. Majestic Casual

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Featuring tracks by Tom Misch, Hether, Dameer, Mura Masa and more, this playlist will invoke spark memories and emotions with an eclectic mix of magical sounds. This is a perfect playlist for when you’re trying to relax and get some homework done! Not to mention – it’s a bunch of great new music to explore. 

2. Perfect Havoc: Top Ten

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Having a solo dance party in your dorm or childhood bedroom? This is the perfect playlist to play when you want to have fun! It’s a top 10 playlist of new energetic disco hits that updates every Friday! 10/10 recommend adding some of these jams to your go-to dance playlists.

3. The Indie Station by Kitsune Musique

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Chill out with this mix of alternative songs curated by Kitsune Musique. Updated monthly, these songs are the best for when you’re taking time to relax after a stressful day.

4. Pollen 

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This playlists takes on a new direction from Spotify’s typical themed curations. Pollen is genre-less “quality first” music featuring your favorites like Post Malone and Tyler, The Creator, plus new and upcoming artists. A great choice when you’re looking for some old and some new. 

5. Songs You Can’t Help but Sing Along to

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Discovering new music is always great,

but sometimes you might just want to jam to some of your all-time favorites! This playlist is guaranteed to get you smiling and singing loudly along while you’re taking a study break.

Good luck with Midterms and Happy Listening!

Geneve: The Modern Era Treasure Hunt

If you know me personally, you know I have an unhealthy obsession with Facebook Marketplace.

It kind of all started off as a joke between a few friends and me. One of them had spent the summer in Boston, and with employment opportunities slim and plenty of people moving out of the city, she and her roommates took advantage of the timing and started flipping Facebook Marketplace furniture. What this means is, she scours for cheap or free furniture pieces from people desperately trying to get rid of them, picks them up, and re-lists on Facebook Marketplace later at a higher price –thereby making a profit.

When this same friend moved into her off-campus apartment, she desperately needed a couch. When I was over at her place one night, I took it upon myself to find the perfect couch off of Facebook Marketplace, and as I was sitting in a Zoom meeting while browsing on the side… I found it. I struck GOLD.

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The couch had only been listed 3 hours ago, and it was already 10pm. Although it wasn’t necessarily late, it was still an abnormal time. But after we decided to message the seller, he said that we could come pick it up immediately.

We conveniently found a Zipcar (pickup truck nonetheless) located right next to my friend’s apartment and drove on over to pick up the couch. Turns out, picking up the couch was not the biggest struggle of our night. Getting it into the elevator was a struggle of its own, and it was too wide to fit in the staircase.

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After two tumultuous hours and a little bit of pivot work, we finally made it up before getting it stuck in the doorway going into her apartment. Again, the key to success was the pivot, and we finally got the couch into its home. The condition of the couch was immaculate – it looked hardly used, and the buttery natural leather was exactly what she was looking for!

Sometimes, you might not be looking for anything in particular, but I PROMISE you that a regular Facebook Marketplace check-in doesn’t hurt. That was how I came across this vintage Art Deco sculpture lamp. I am a regular follower of vintage interior decoration stores online and knew that this was definitely worth more than the $10 that the seller had listed it at.

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I picked it up from a sweet older lady’s porch (masks on, socially distanced with contactless payment via Venmo, of course!) and later found out that the same type of lamp retails anywhere from $160$900. I definitely scored with this deal, and while I don’t use the lamp for lighting purposes, it’s the perfect tasteful nude sculpture to really tie my decor together and give my room a more grown-up look.

So, what are you waiting for? Hop on Facebook Marketplace and browse through to see if there’s anything that tickles your fancy. And of course, make sure to stay safe and try to do contactless pickup and payment if possible!