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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Ah, October, how I’ve missed you so, old friend. Every year I complain about the hot and sticky end of the summer grossness that makes living in Boston seem less appealing than usual. I reach my breaking point when the weather outside is a toxic combination of humid rain showers and pavement-cracking heat waves that force me to open every window possible and crank up all the fans to the highest setting. Right as I’m about to lose it, Boston’s temperatures drop into a steady mid-60s range, and hints of fall start sprinkling around the city. A pile of crunchy leaves here, a half-green, half-yellow tree there, and a cool breeze moving along a group of fluffy, white clouds over there. All of my hopes and dreams for a perfect autumn day come tumbling in out of the blue, and all I can do at that point is stop whining and take it all in while it’s here.

fall leaves on the ground
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
I made a rookie mistake the other week when I left the apartment for a meeting without a jacket. I should know by now that Boston’s looks can be deceiving and just because there might be sunlight streaming through the window in the morning doesn’t mean it’s going to be warm and sunny outside. On the contrary, by the time I got to the coffee shop, I had goosebumps covering my arms and I had to use my tote bag for warmth. I sat there feeling silly as I shivered when it was only 62 degrees out. Had my old Southern Californian habits caught up with me? To all my West Coast readers, this is a reminder that northeast weather is deceptive and finicky (read: always bring an umbrella with you no matter what the forecast says)!

While the perfect weather that I crave so dearly all year is back and Boston is looking as cute as ever with its pumpkin-lined brownstones, there’s one dreadful thing about this season that I always seem to conveniently forget: midterms. That’s right, just when I thought school couldn’t have been going more smoothly and I had all the time in the world to shop for plants and go out for leisurely strolls––BAM––two papers, one article, one presentation, and an exam just come and smack me right in the face. 

aisle between bookshelves in library
Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash
To make matters worse, I have seriously been struggling with staying focused as of late. I try so desperately to keep my mind on one track for a given period of time, but instead, I end up going down a rabbit hole of emails, scrolling through Instagram for a bit (that’s probably an understatement), and then finding myself cleaning up around the apartment. I think the lack of separation between computer time for school and for fun has been making things more difficult, so I’m trying to find ways to create some offline space. I recently bought a yoga mat since I haven’t worked out in who knows how long, so maybe that’ll give me something to do that isn’t slowly causing my mental and physical health to crumble.

Midterm season is always a rough time for me, probably more so than finals, just because it feels like it comes out of nowhere. Of course, I know it’s coming eventually but I somehow get blindsided every time. I’ve been trying to get back into concentration mode and sometimes that requires me to literally shut myself into my room, turn on “Do Not Disturb” on all my notifications, and start cranking out some work with or without music (gasp!) playing in the background. Sometimes in the midst of these overwhelming work sessions, I need some serene background music like jazz to calm me down. I’m not the kind of person who likes to work in quiet places like libraries so I always keep a window open or have some other kind of white noise. This week’s playlist is a mix of self-soothing, jazz hits from legends like Miles Davis and Chet Baker as well as some obligatory tunes to ring in the season of sweaters, cider, and all things spooky.

Wishing you all the best of luck with midterms! I know we’re going to be able to power through this and emerge from this study grind victorious and ready to embrace the season. :)



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Emma is a senior at BU studying Journalism and Gender and Women's Studies in the College of Communications. She's originally from sunny Los Angeles, California. She is an avid fan of local bakeries and making oddly specific Spotify playlists.