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Well, it has been a year. A year since strict quarantine, since most of our social lives being reduced to a few screens, and of course, a year full of sorrow and loss. While we took the first few… well, months to really adjust to everything being online and figuring out how to replicate our lives to a virtual one, we might be settled into a routine by now. But with little excitement in the form of impromptu outings with friends or family, and staring at the same screen and environment for weeks at a time, we may be needing ways to maintain a little excitement in our lives and routines. 

As the weather has gotten better, change your scenery as much as you can by taking your materials, books, notebooks, and laptop outside. It does not have to be a balcony or anything fancy, even sitting on the grass can change the way you see or feel your work for a few hours, at least. Also, it would be easier to fit in absorbing the excitement and newness of the spring into your schedule! We love multitasking! Another way to approach this for whatever reason that may be is to crack open a window and let in the warm, sweet air that way! A change of environment can really make all the difference.

To have an excuse to leave the house more often (safely, of course), offer to do chores for your friends and family! You may not be able to spend your days safely enjoying the cafe, restaurants, or even concerts, and doing necessary chores may be the only outing you treat yourself to. If you are able to go out shopping, and safely, maybe taking on some other peoples’ chores could fill your time and give you an excuse to go to grocery stores and shops more than you might as an individual! Again, a change of scenery from your house or dorm is something we are all craving, and that would make multiple trips to a store seem way cooler than what it might seem to be. Of course, if you are doing chores for someone who cannot themselves, openly disclose how often you go out and your contact with others, to make sure any groceries you bring home to them, among other things, are clean and safe for their well-being. 

You can also romanticize small, ordinary tasks! By romanticize, I mean make ordinary things into big, intricate “events.” Maybe you watch movies all the time- make it into a big deal! Maybe move your watching space to a couch or a TV if you are not watching it on those, maybe designate a special outfit or pair of PJ’s for watching, and make it a ritual to cook or put something together right before to enjoy it. Just as we relished in the dress up or preparation before we went out to events or even in class, replicate that experience and association with otherwise mundane things at home! If you cook for yourself or others often, blast aesthetic music and dance around the kitchen like people in movies and commercials do! It might sound contradictory to create or add routine to spice up your routine, but thinking about it, getting ready to go out was a routine within itself but it was exciting because we were stimulating our senses. Choosing which outfit or perfume to put in was an exciting opportunity to make a choice and express our creativity, thoughts, and mood. When we do things like cooking or watching shows, we go into autopilot and consume rather than actively make choices and take our own feelings into account. So, making it a ritual to cook something before watching a show allows us to express ourselves with what we decide to make, and watching stuff in another environment allows us to creatively design this new (or same old!) space. 

Regardless, take some time to enjoy or just acknowledge the warm weather, longer days, and freshness of the air! Luckily, this time of year has brought us a natural way to feel something different, take advantage of it, collegiettes!

Annie Oaks

George Mason University '22

A legal studies major with a knack for writing and fashion.
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