In the last year, Val has undergone some important changes that have made our food options both more delicious and nutritious. Yet every day, students can be overheard complaining about Val to their friends. Of course not every student is going to be thrilled with Val’s food options every day, but there are some considerations we all should make before publicly complaining about a service that ultimately provides us with everything we need and more.

The College hardly exudes school spirit. While a student at Williams can innocuously strut around campus dressed in a purple cow costume, most students at Amherst would rather don that same outfit than dress up as the mascot Lord Jeffrey Amherst (because honestly, despite its absurdity, a purple cow is by the far the more huggable of the two). The turnout at most athletic and extracurricular competitions rarely far exceeds the players or members themselves. And no, the first word of “A Hymn to Amherst” is not “what.”

Despite all the recent buzz over Twitter’s IPO, the College’s own quiet technological revolution has gone largely unnoticed. After years of pink slips and green sheets, it seems that the College has finally begun to embrace the 21st century.

Statistically speaking, last year was not a stellar year for the College’s admissions. Total applications dropped from 8,555 for the Class of 2016 to 7,927 for the class of 2017, representing a decline of 8.2 percent. The overall admit rate increased from 13.3 percent to 13.7 percent.

1. Learn how to study effectively. Find your a nook inside the library or around campus (we won’t share ours because that would defeat the point). Take study breaks often. Go for a walk around the trails or simply call a friend or family member.

2. Stay healthy. Don’t fall into the routine of ordering calzones at 2 a.m. every day. Invest in healthy midnight snacks. Try to eat as healthy as the options at Val allow you. And we cannot stress this enough: get enough sleep every night.

A school year has almost passed us. Ask anyone to summarize the collective experience of students this year and they will place the unfolding of much public drama at the center of it. Pleasant memories dot our individual recollections, but painful ones sit squarely within those memories shared by most all of us.

This exam period, for the first time in our collective student memory, students have as much to look forward to going into finals as they already have to not look forward to: first, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis promises to keep spirits up as students get excited about not having any use for their glass coasters and Spring Formal; second, students should also appreciate the generous end-of-year break we received — an extended “reading period."