What I've found from my first winter season away at college is that, especially for someone going to school in a cold climate, it can seem endless. This is arguably the worst time of the year, after all the holiday season hype has wound down and after the excitement of the first snow of the year, at which point any kind of frozen precipitation ceases to be amusing and just becomes annoying.
During the long, hard months of January-March, many college students wish that they could just hibernate in their dorm rooms until the first signs of spring. But unfortunately, we have classes to attend and responsibilities to keep up with even when it's dark and miserable outside all the time. The best thing to do in times like these is find a few things to brighten up your days:
1. Keep yourself organized.
I know that everyone always has big plans at the start of the new year to make this the year they finally get themselves together, but truthfully, things usually start to fall apart after about two or three weeks. To make things a little easier on yourself, make realistic goals, like cleaning your room (well) once a week or reorganizing your schoolwork every few days.
2. Break out of your routine.
Sometimes the cold weather makes people hesitant to go out and do anything other than go to class, come home and cuddle up in the warmth of your cozy little dorm room; but after a while this could make anyone go a little crazy. Also, doing the same thing every single day can make the weeks seem to drag on forever. Instead, try and make plans to get lunch with a friend you haven't seen in a while, or take the long way to class to enjoy a view of campus you haven't gotten to explore yet.
3. Take advantage of programs offered on campus.
At most schools, there are sponsored events nearly every night and some of them can actually be really fun. To take your mind off of studying for midterms, you can check out what kinds of things your school offers, from movie screenings to improv comedy shows to painting lessons and open mic nights (they usually have free food at the events too!).
4. Catch up on your favorite shows.
Don't feel guilty for taking a few hours (or more) out of your day to sit back and watch Netflix, if you can spare it. Nothing feels better than curling up with a cozy blanket and a whole season of Parks and Recreation in one day.
5. Go to the gym.
I wish I could follow this advice better myself, but I do know that nothing feels better than knowing you added even more productivity to your day by getting in a good workout.
6. Spend lots of time with your friends.
To break the monotony of this seemingly endless semester, try and organize things for you and your friends to do, like a movie night or group study sessions. Trust me, doing anything with friends is better than doing it alone.
7. Ace all of your midterms.
Grades definitely become more important to people in college than they were in high school. I mean, you are paying to take these classes. I know it's hard, but take a week out of the semester to just focus on studying for all those dreaded exams. Trust me, it'll be worth it to get those A's (and the GPA boost!).
8. Treat yo' self.
Whether that means getting a venti the next time you stop at Starbucks, a spontaneous trip to the mall or some online shopping for a new pair of shoes you just have to have, doing something for yourself once in a while is a great way to get your mind outside the winter storms swirling outside.
9. Don't waste a second of the occasional beautiful day.
Even though the average day is 20-40 degrees in winter in the great state of New Jersey, every once and a while during February and March we have a mini "heat wave," where the temperatures could reach 60 or 70 degrees for a day or two. Now I don't believe a lot of college stereotypes, but when its 65 degrees outside in Ferbrary, there will be mobs of kids outside in the quad throwing frisbees and doing homework in the sun. So get out there and forget about the fact that it will probably snow again next week.
10.Remember spring break and warm weather are right around the corner.
You've made it this far, and I know it seems as if this spring semester is endless right now, but just get through those midterms and then it's home to friends and family for a glorious week of spring break. And after that, hopefully, this winter weather will be gone for good.
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