When the breeze starts blowing through those open classroom windows and the sun finally decides to shine down on our (too-pale) faces, it can be hard to stay focused on our school work. During the period of time between the peak point of stress that comes from projects, papers, and presentations and before finals week, spring semester is pure magic. For me, that means long walks in my tiny little college town, quality chats with friends over iced coffee, catching some rays out on the quad, and enjoying daylight until nearly 8pm. Whether you attend a small college or a larger university, chances are that springtime brings lots of activities and events to campus – cultural and music festivals, social events, new outdoor volunteering experiences, and more!
As wonderful as all of that is, it can be hard to shift back into our studious gear when finals week does roll around. It’s all about finding the balance between enjoying the season and staying focused and motivated. Figuring out what works best for you, as an individual, is the key to success, but when it’s time to get back in the zone, there are a few standby tips that have proven themselves as helpful to me over the years.
Take the time to do a little spring cleaning in your dorm room/apartment. It might seem silly, but clearing the remnants of winter out of your room (i.e. sending your winter coat and boots home with your parents when they come to visit), opening the windows to let some fresh air in, Cloroxing every surface, vacuuming…the whole nine yards. And while you’re at it, why not put fresh sheets on your bed, too? There’s nothing like coming home to a clean, fresh, welcoming space. Also, if you like to study at your desk, it’s helpful to have a nice, organized place to sit down and focus. Perhaps you can even treat yourself to fresh flowers!
If you’re someone who can focus in a more stimulating environment, try studying outside. Spread out a blanket under a tree (so college!), grab some friends, and get to work! Another great way to avoid feeling down from spending too much time in the library is to use your study break as an opportunity to take a walk outside. Spending time outside has been proven to improve memory, focus energy, sleep, and mood. Sometimes, we have to spend time inside, but we can still be productive and happy. Making cheery, upbeat playlist and stocking up on healthy snacks can keep us smiling and satisfied during our work sessions. Also taking the time to make a to-do list in order of priority and motivate yourself with a little reward to get you through your work, or light at the end of the tunnel. It can be something as small as calling your best friend from home treating yourself to a pint of ice cream.
It always seems like just when we have the time to enjoy the spring, the school year is over and everyone is leaving campus for the summer. This year, however, it’s time to make the most of this short amount of time that we have to enjoy this season at school!