Illustration by Olivia Dutkewych
By Hannah Barrett, Blogger
This past year has evoked countless changes to life as it was known before the pandemic. Along with many other firsts that have occurred this year, this will be the first year some college students at universities around the country will not be given a spring break. Spring break has not only been a chance for students in the past to plan an exciting trip and soak up the sun on a spontaneous getaway but has also aided students in going into the final weeks of the school year with a refreshed mindset to finish out the semester. As the final semester of a challenging academic year comes to a close, it may be difficult to feel refreshed and motivated to finish out the school year. Here are some tips to do just that without a spring break.
As the weather gets nicer, the sun comes back for a visit and spring fills the air, it’s very important to spend time outside of your dorm room. With the implementation of online classes, it can be easy to spend the day start to finish confined in your room in front of a computer screen.
Just making an effort to go on a walk to get a coffee or grabbing a bite to eat with a friend and enjoying your meal outside can make a huge difference. Spending just an hour in the sunlight can be a huge stress reliever and mood booster. So, set aside some time from school to shut down your laptop and enjoy the beautiful surroundings your college campus has to offer.
As the current academic year nears the end, schoolwork can become more intense and can be overwhelming at times. Pick a night of the week and dedicate it to indulging in some self-care activities. Do that face mask you’ve been meaning to try or spend some time writing in a journal.
Self-reflection is very important during the uncertain times we’re living in and will help you find your calm amidst the chaos; this can even be achieved through something as simple as meditation. Self-care can even mean getting a sufficient amount of sleep for a change or spending the night streaming a show you’ve been meaning to start. These little activities will help keep you feeling fresh as the semester comes to a close.
Even though you won’t be given an entire week to relieve yourself of the stress that comes with being a college student, be sure to take breaks from school to simply relax or do things you are passionate about. Some universities have implemented day breaks from school; if this applies to you, make sure to take advantage of those days to distract your mind from the loads of schoolwork you may have. Plan a picnic with your friends at your favorite spot on campus, or take a day trip to a nearby park. In your free time, indulge in your favorite hobby or create a Spotify playlist of your favorite music to help keep your mind sane. These days are crucial to your mental health and will leave you feeling motivated to finish out the semester.
Adding more activity into your daily schedule will not only boost your serotonin but will help you feel more accomplished and driven to finish out the school year. Don’t use online classes or COVID-19 restrictions as an excuse to not move your body at least a few times a week. Try out your campus recreation center or go for a walk on a nearby bike path or trail for a change of scenery. Any activity is better than none and will certainly aid in lifting your spirits when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Just because you’re not planning for a spring break vacation, doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to things that make you happy. Buy a new spring outfit that you feel confident in and have a photoshoot with a friend. Taking time to get ready some days and putting those pajamas back in the drawer can also help make things feel a little more normal. If there’s a certain project or hobby you’ve wanted to attempt, go out and buy the supplies you need and give it a try. Treat yourself to your favorite meal or a yummy treat. All of these things will be beneficial to your overall happiness and well-being as you power through the rest of the semester.