“Spring semester” has always sounded so much cheerier than it feels. Maybe it’s the fact that spring doesn’t actually begin until March 19, which is over three months into the semester. What is labeled as “spring” is actually made up of grey skies, deceptively cold wind and one too many tests to finish out the school year.
The spring semester of my freshman year was one of the hardest months of my life. My grandpa passed away, I got sick repeatedly and felt crushed under the workload of 18 credits. After that, I was convinced that the spring semester must be cursed.
As the spring semester crept up into my sophomore year, I was extremely nervous. What if this year is just as bad as the last one? What if it’s even worse?
Fortunately, it wasn’t. This time, I was ready to fight back what spring threw at me.
The trick? Besides the fact that I met some wonderful lifelong friends, I began to consciously plan ways to make life a little better when I felt like everything was dreary. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned for how to spice up a rather uneventful and challenging semester.
Try Something New
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, especially under the pressure of work and school, I need to escape for long enough to take a deep breath again. During my sophomore year, I decided to escape in a way I had never tried before.
After watching a couple of oddly inspiring documentaries, I decided to try rock climbing. Because I have a fear of heights and a surprising lack of upper body strength, climbing did not come easy to me. In fact, I’m still pretty bad at it.
However, trying something new with a supportive group of people proved to break the stiffness of a daily routine.
For students interested in trying a new physical activity, stop by the Southern Utah University P.E. Building to try something new for free.
If the stress of school wasn’t enough, spring semester also marks the coming of summer. For many students, this means acing finals, filling out job applications and moving back home. Yuck.
If it feels like there’s nothing to be excited for, try making something up. For me, it was my study abroad to New Zealand in May. As excited as I was for the trip, I was possibly more excited to watch the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy in preparation.
I spread the three movies out over a large chunk of time, which gave me a reason to look forward to the next film. If geeking out isn’t your thing, try baking, discovering new music or planning small trips with friends.
As long as there’s excitement involved, you’re doing something right.
Spend Time with People who Matter
Most of my favorite moments from my time in college have happened because of the creative, smart, kind and caring people I have met along the way. I cannot stress the importance of finding people you care about. They will help carry you through the hardest of semesters.
With that said, making new friends doesn’t just happen most of the time. Fortunately, one of the main goals behind all SUU activities is to provide environments for students to meet each other. The trick is actually showing up.
College is a scary, overwhelming and stressful time for everyone. Whether you’re a first year international student or a senior SUUSA member, no one is having it easy. Reach out.
Who knows what we’re going through better than each other?
For those struggling right now, remember that it doesn’t last forever. Spring semester is tough. But so are you.
Story and Photos by: Amanda Walton