5 Things to Put a Smile on Your Face

It's here. The finals slump. The time where life seems to be an endless cycle of waking up, studying, taking the test, then doing it all over again because your next final is two hours after you finish this one. It's easy to watch the days morph into a stressful blur, but I'm giving you five things to put a smile on your face in the midst of a demanding finals season. Especially in New Orleans, it's one of the most beautiful times of the year. The trees are in full bloom, it's warm but not too hot, and there seem to be free sno-balls everywhere. 

1. Lizzo's new album, Cuz I Love You

In her third studio-album, Lizzo delivers. She seizes her authentic voice as an entertainer and cultural icon—solidifying her position among the greats. Dealing with topics like body positivity, self-love, and emotional vulnerability, Lizzo has given us 11 near prophetic anthems. Merging genres like soul, hip/hop, and R&B, she manages to craft a feeling of pure joy throughout the entire album. The album also features Gucci Mane and Missy Elliot. My personal favorites are "Soulmate" and "Like A Girl"– guaranteed to have you walking on sunshine. 

2. The Perfect Couple

With summer right around the corner, most of you have beach trips or days by the pool in your future. You may be tempted to re-read the same three books that have been on your nightstand for ages, but the book you need to read is The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand. I take books very seriously, so believe me when I say that Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read. The Perfect Couple is a murder-mystery set in Nantucket wedding season and the twists and turns make it impossible to put down. Hilderbrand, a mother of three and a breast cancer survivor, has a way of writing where you can't help but think "okay, she gets it." Life, relationships, and careers are never simple, but Hilderbrand's writing has a near magical way of putting emotions into words. If you like this one, my other favorites are The Identicals and The Matchmaker.

3. The Met Gala!

With the first Monday of May getting closer and closer, soon the year's hottest red carpet will be upon us. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual Costume Institute Gala, commonly known as The Met Gala, is one of the biggest nights in fashion for the whole year. From haute couture to risk-taking beauty, celebrities dress to a unique theme. This year's theme is "Camp: Notes on Fashion", a testament to the outrageous, the love of the unnatural. Inspired by the 1964 essay "Notes on Camp" by Susan Sontag, the theme is summed up in the quote "you can either be a work of art, or you can wear one." With iconic hosts like Harry Styles, Lady Gaga, Serena Williams, and the legendary Anna Wintour, this year's Met Gala is going to be one of the most exciting yet. Check out the livestream on May 6th and place your bets on who will steal the show (my money is on Rihanna, as always). 

4. Someone Great 

Netflix's newest original film fails to join the ranks of The Kissing Booth and The Set-Up. By that I mean, you won't feel like you just wasted an hour and a half when it's over. Someone Great is an anti-romantic comedy of sorts, featuring a girl squad determined to have one last night out in New York City before a member of the trio moves to San Francisco. First, the soundtrack is exquisite. All out jams from Big Freedia and OutKast contrast heart-breaking scenes with songs from Lorde and Mitski. Second, the movie takes you through just about every emotion. You'll laugh until you cry, then you'll realize that you're actually crying because the main character is just that relatable. Third, RuPaul makes a cameo that almost steals the whole movie. 

5. Sno-balls!

Summer means sno-balls, a New Orleans classic. Treat yourself this finals season and enjoy a sweet treat to beat the summer heat (whew, had to throw that rhyme in there) at one of the many sno-ball shops around campus.