With spring break behind us, it is easy to feel like there is so much to do between now and the end of the year. To combat these overwhelming feelings about making it through some of the busiest weeks of the semester, here are methods to shake up your regular routine, remind yourself of life’s beauties and make your day to day schedule a little brighter.
10. Walk a different way to class
When things start to feel too monotonous, change your day in a subtle way. Taking a different route to class is one way to shift your routine midway through the semester. You might see new faces and find yourself in areas of Grounds that you normally do not go to, making it an ideal way to break up the monotony of trudging along to your classes. Bonus points if you take a photo of a blossoming tree you hadn’t seen before and send it to someone you love — I know my mom loves hearing from me and seeing what I am up to throughout the day.
9. Make studying more enjoyable with a fun playlist and your favorite beverage
By the middle of the semester, you most likely have a pile of midterms, projects and papers building on your to-do list. Instinct might have us tapping on that lofi or classical music playlist to focus. But sometimes I like to jazz it up with an upbeat and joyful playlist to break away from the monotony while sipping coffee from my favorite mug. It is the little things that can make a difference.
8. Take a podcast walk
I have found myself listening to “Brooke and Connor Make a Podcast” non-stop over the past few weeks. Brooke Averick and Connor Wood, two popular TikTok creators, tackle the latest pop culture moments, recap funny stories and share their hottest takes — making me laugh and keeping my mind engaged and occupied, which is why I love listening to it while I walk around Grounds. Going for a walk with an exciting podcast is also a great study break — I always find myself appreciating Grounds in a new way when I go for a walk for fun instead of just walking to my classes and meetings.
7. Escape with a movie
Watching a movie is something simple yet so transformative — it can be so fun to immerse yourself in the mind of someone else, taking you away from your current moment. After watching the Oscars, I know that I have a list of movies I need to check off my list like “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Whale.” Break away from your comfort zone with something new or relax with your old comfort movie — the point is to feel a sense of joy through the process so do whatever feels right for you.
6. Block off no homework time
While this may seem difficult to achieve, everyone needs to have homework-free time. If you know that you will have trouble taking a break from work, physically block a chunk of time on your calendar to release yourself from your responsibilities and your to-do list. I promise you will return to your work with a new level of invigoration and energy to tackle your assignments. This can be as small as taking 30 minutes to watch an episode of your favorite show, or you can decide to take a whole Saturday away from your laptop, which I did recently and cannot rave enough about.
5. Make the small things an event
If the weeks of the semester are blurring together and everything feels relatively the same, this is a fun way to spice up your routine. Making going to class an event such as putting on your favorite outfit or taking time to do your hair and add your favorite accessories to your outfit can boost your happiness and confidence. While I love wearing my comfy clothes to class, putting a tiny bit of extra effort into your outfit can make you feel more excited about going to class — something we can all benefit from at this point in the semester.
4. Find a new TikTok creator that inspires you
TikTok is a place with a seemingly endless amount of content across the spectrum. I sometimes find myself mindlessly scrolling through, but I’ve found that finding inspiring creators helps me find some joy. Following TikTok creators that make me smile and laugh during the day instead of following accounts that make me feel bad about myself has definitely enhanced the quality of my days. If you’re looking to fill a few minutes in between classes, watch some TikToks by lighthearted creators, like @good.boy.ollie, for some irresistible dog content — a sure way to smile.
3. Soak up the sun
Losing an hour of sleep at the end of spring break was far from pleasant. The good news is that we can now enjoy sunlight that stays out past 5 p.m. Carving out time to enjoy the glorious sun — eating lunch outside, going on an evening walk or simply appreciating the beaming sun while going to and from classes — is a definite mood booster and can make busy school days much more enjoyable. I know that meeting a friend for Bodo’s on a spring day is a foolproof way to lift my own spirits.
2. Engage in the art of window shopping
As a retail therapy enthusiast, I am quick to suggest treating yourself to something as a strategy for adding excitement to your daily routine. Nevertheless, I want to emphasize that window-shopping can scratch the same itch. Simply walking around your favorite store and browsing the new items for spring can be a welcomed study break and a way to overcome the drudgery that often accompanies midterms.
- If all else fails, make a countdown until the end of the year
Although I believe in finding joy in the ordinary motions of life at the University, I also acknowledge that some days the best way to feel motivated and excited is to put the semester in perspective — with just about two months left in the semester, we are inching towards the finish line. Reminding yourself of this can not only be an inspiration to finish strong, but it can also remind you to enjoy the moments along the way.