With everyday life consisting of sitting behind a laptop screen listening to your professor drone on in lecture, spring semester looks like it might suck. Between the multiple Zoom classes, a pandemic and just the overall stress of college life, it’s easy to feel extremely overwhelmed. However, there are so many ways to ensure that your spring semester does not consist of all negative vibes.
From taking some “me” time, trying out that new recipe or just having a girl’s night in, read on for 10 easy ways to make sure your spring semester does not suck!
1. Bring the Gym to You
The gyms may still be closed near you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still work towards that summer body! Grab a yoga mat, some good tunes and an at-home workout video and bring the gym to your own living room. If you want an extra challenge, you can also use some weights and resistance bands to grow those glutes.
We all remember the Chloe Ting workout videos from the first quarantine. However, some other amazing workout videos that will get your heart pumping include MadFit, Pamela Reif and Blogilates on YouTube.
2. Cocktail Night
Who doesn’t love to rewind with a drink after a long day? For those of you 21 years or older, this is the perfect way to let loose after a long week of seemingly endless homework, Zoom meetings and quizzes. Gather just a few of your closest friends and have everyone each bring their own unique cocktail. Some delicious yet easy cocktails include a chocolate cake martini, a classic margherita or a refreshing mojito. Everyone can then vote on who brought the tastiest or most fun drink!
3. Online Shop Till’ You “Drop”
Revamp your closet for this spring with a good online shopping spree. When life slowly returns back to normal, you will be dressed to impress. If you live life on a college budget like any other student out there, you can turn this into a fun activity by shopping on online thrift stores and upcycling them yourself! This can include ordering some hoodies and cropping them or bleach dying some t-shirts.
4. Try Some New Recipes
As Chef Gusteau once said in Ratatouille, “Anyone can cook!” Take a break from campus food, cold pizza and take out to channel that inner chef and try out some new recipes. If you need some inspiration, just scroll through your TikTok feed as there seems to be an endless stream of mouth-watering recipes on there. Now’s the perfect time to try out that famous feta cheese pasta! Grab some friends and maybe even some wine and treat yourselves to an amazing meal.
5. Binge-Watch Netflix Shows
To make sure this semester does not suck, sometimes taking the time out to binge watch some Netflix shows is just what you need. Netflix recently put out countless new releases! From Bridgerton to old classics like iCarly, there is no shortage of binge-worthy shows on Netflix.
“I remember one Sunday night, me and a few friends just all sat down and watched the entire season of Bridgerton in one day,” Penn State junior Allison Cline said. “Honestly, it was totally worth it.”
You can even have a virtual viewing party with group watch features on Netflix.
6. Redecorate Your Dorm/Apartment
Having a change of scenery can let you really have a clear mind and be mentally ready to tackle this spring semester.
“My suggestion is to separate your learning space from your living space if you can. This has really helped me with my Zoom fatigue because I can leave my computer behind at the end of the day and take a clean break,” said Penn State advisor Nikki DiOrio.
There are so many ways to turn your room into a personal sanctuary; for example, repainting your room with a neutral tone can actually calm your mind. Throw some greenery in there for an extra calming effect as well! And guess what—redecorating doesn’t have to include going out and buying anything new.
“When I got back to my apartment this semester, I just moved my bed and drawers around and my room was instantly transformed into something new,” Penn State junior Reilly Burton said.
Having a refreshingly new-looking workspace can easily leave you feeling ready to take on the semester.
7. Lights, Camera, Action!
Rock those new outfits from your shopping spree in a fun photoshoot with friends. Set up space in your apartment with some decorations such as streamers, twinkling lights and even old newspapers for a quick and easy photoshoot from home. However, there are so many places you can go to that are not only COVID safe but will really spice up your Instagram feed. Car photoshoots, empty parking garage pictures and even grocery store aisle snapshots will really shake things up on Instagram.
8. Escape with Some Good Reads
Dive into the pages of a book to really clear your mind. With everything virtual these days, it seems like everyone is constantly glued to their phone or laptop screens. It’s so easy to get lost in the digital world. Sometimes, unplugging these devices can really have a positive impact mentally.
“It can be really hard to stay focused on Zoom classes, especially if you have a lot in a row,” DiOrio said.
Detox and just escape into a good book. This will really take your mind off of the stress and craziness happening in the world right now. Grab your favorite book and just cuddle up in bed with some snacks and a blanket!
9. Spa Night
Spa night: the classic way to treat yourself after a long hard week of college life. Some me time is just what the doctor ordered amidst the high levels of stress every student is experiencing right now. Blast your favorite Spotify playlist, light some candles, put on a face mask and just treat yourself to a night in. You can also order from that favorite takeout place or just go to the shop and fill your cart with snacks and maybe a few tubs of ice cream.
10. Fix Your Sleep Schedule
It’s so easy to get caught up in the rabbit hole of TikTok, Instagram scrolling and YouTube watching. However, having a solid sleep schedule can really help you kill this spring semester. Going on your phone at night can actually prevent you from falling asleep earlier. Instead, try listening to some relaxing tunes or meditation to really calm your body and mind! Spotify offers some amazing calming playlists to throw at night to really relax your mind. Browse the app store for apps such as Calm and Headspace that also offer some great “sleepcasts” and stories to fall asleep to.