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Need to De-stress? Turn to ‘The Office’

It’s that time of year again! As the end of the semester approaches, time continues to taunt us with how close the end seems to be. With stressful finals and long essays looming over students’ heads, it’s very difficult to find the time to de-stress from the tumultuous work schedule. As you’re pulling all-nighters trying to cram those final chemistry notes or writing that research paper, it’s important to step back and take a deep breath. One of the greatest ways to de-stress, in my opinion, is by binge-watching “The Office.”

“Today, smoking is gonna save lives,” Dwight Schrute confidently proclaims before inciting a dangerous fire drill that ultimately leads to Stanley’s heart attack. If you’re an Office fan, you know exactly what episode I’m talking about. If you’ve never seen “The Office” before, season five episode 14 – entitled “Stress Relief: Part I” – sets the stage for the show’s outrageous antics. Seeing Angela’s cat fall out of the ceiling, Kevin raiding the vending machine and the boss, Michael Scott, throwing a projector out of the window during a serious fire emergency alone is enough to induce some serious tears from laughter.

While this is one of the more outlandish episodes of “The Office,” I feel that this show truly possesses a timeless quality that appeals to everyone. From Jim and Dwight’s master plans to subdue each other to Michael’s general ignorance to social norms, there’s enough lovable awkward humor to help you get through the arduous task of studying for that bio final. Even the cultural references – from the office watching “Varsity Blues” to Dwight head-banging while listening to Mötley Crüe – provide humor for an eclectic set of people, ranging from movie aficionados to metalheads alike.

Another reason why “The Office” is landmark television is the uniquely relatable nature that every character possesses. The working man can relate to Stanley’s disgruntled work ethic, the everyman to Jim, the religiously conservative to Angela, not to mention Pam’s development from passive to a sassy, empowered woman. Every character’s role, no matter how small it is, helps to achieve a consistent cohesiveness that not many shows can replicate. It’s a show that, while very depressingly awkward at times, simply radiates positivity even in your darkest hour.

I have to admit, the only reason I even use my Netflix account now is strictly for “The Office” (and occasional “Footloose” viewings). With all 201 episodes of the series at your disposal, there’s enough to keep you entertained through finals season and the months thereafter. So the next time you find yourself suffering from writer’s block or in a lull from studying, take a step back, relax and throw on an episode of “The Office” – especially if you’ve never seen it. In the words of the great Michael Scott, “‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take’ – Wayne Gretzky.”

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