The excitement of a fresh spring semester can be rather quick to dissolve; before long, the once-pristine notebooks are coffee stained, and the holiday cookies squirreled away in the freezer begin to disappear at a frightening speed. To make matters worse, February is the longest shortest month on the calendar. Sure, it has the fewest days, but the lack of daylight and unpredictable weather makes each week feel like an eternity. For college students, the month represents an endless string of deadlines to get through.
So, when Leap Day finally comes and passes, it’s a big deal. Hope renews, and all thoughts turn towards the light ahead: spring break. With all the anticipation that’s been building towards that glorious week off, there is a sense of urgency to make the most of every exam-less moment. Before long, you’ll be back hunched over the books, and I want to help make that inevitable return as stress-free as possible. Here are a few tips to make the most of your spring break (no matter what your plans are)!
Embrace Where You Are
Whether you’re chilling for a week in your mom’s basement or catching some rays on a sunny coastline, you’re still not sitting in an anatomy lecture, and that’s a wonderful thing! No matter where you’re spending your spring break, one of the easiest ways to make the most of it is simply be present. Don’t waste your days wishing you were somewhere else. Rather, embrace the sun or snow or rain, and find a reason to be grateful for where you’re at.
Reconnect with Yourself
Spring break is the perfect time to catch up with friends and family that have been put on the back burner due to busy schedules. While it’s awesome to connect with the people you’ve been missing, it’s also enormously beneficial to schedule a little one-on-one time with yourself. In the chaos of the semester, it can be easy to let your self-care slide. Use this break to make your well-being a priority. Schedule a massage, go for a solo hike, read a thought-provoking book, or do whatever activity makes you feel happy and balanced.
Before spring break arrives, you usually have to trudge through midterms first. With the excess of studying and essay writing, it’s easy to go days with very little time outdoors. Now that you’ve left the library for this well-deserved break, make an extra effort to get out and soak up whatever vitamin D you can find. Even if you’re a Midwesterner like me, strap on your cross country skis and get out of the house. It’s the perfect time to get some fresh air and remind yourself what trees look like when not in book form.
Flex Your Courage
What better way to re-energize yourself for the second half of the semester than by doing something you’ve never done before? I’m not saying you have to go cliff-diving or snorkeling with sharks – though both those things sound pretty exhilarating! But it could be a small thing you’ve been afraid to do that you finally face. Maybe you want to try sushi or take a boxing class. The key is to pinpoint something that excites you, even if it is a little nerve-wracking or scary. If fear has been holding you back from finally starting that cooking blog or attempting to rock climb, spring break is the perfect time to tackle that challenge.
Whether your break is a wild road trip or a quiet retreat, jot it all down. Free from the homework-induced carpel tunnel that plagues you during the semester, this is the perfect time to fill up a notebook with words, pictures, drawings, and ticket stubs that come together to create a memorable relic of who you are at this exact moment of your life. You won’t always remember everything you’re seeing and experiencing right now, and future you will be wildly thankful to have something to bring you back to your spring break days.
Take a Day to Reset
If your travel plans allow, dedicate one whole day of your break to prepare for the rest of the semester. Crank up some music and tackle all the little things that will help you keep your sanity when school is back in session. Deep clean your filthy apartment, get the chip crumbs out of your backpack pockets, wash all your bedding with delicious smelling soaps, update your calendar and schedule with due dates, or donate a bunch of your unused books and clothes. Any of these things could make you feel so much more zen about getting through the next few months.
Get ready to soak up every ounce of spring break! I hope these tips help you get into the best mindset for a fun and relaxing break from classes. And if you’re like me and looking to plan a last minute trip, check out Wanderu for your tickets to paradise!
About the author: Emily Hest is a college student in the Twin Cities. She is a farm-turned-city girl who loves to read memoirs and drink way too much coffee. She loves learning about the world and occasionally indulging in trashy reality television. You can find her over on Instagram at @emilyhest!