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

After my freshman year, I thought college was an endless cycle of classes, practices and assignments. I was determined to change this mindset this year and find joy in the journey. 

Have you ever had a conversation with a friend who asked what you did this weekend, and your mind went completely blank? This semester, I finally decided that I was tired of giving the same answer of “nothing” or “just some homework.” I realized that, with 168 hours in the week, something remarkable or exciting had to have happened and, if not, I was doing something wrong. 

I am an avid podcast listener, and one of my favorites is “Before Breakfast,” which provides a quick daily dose of self-improvement advice and good energy to start my morning. On one episode, host Laura Vanderkam proposed the idea of adding one big and one little “fun” to every week. At first, the busy student-athlete in me shivered at the idea of adding two more items to my never-ending cycle of weights, practice, class and homework. After taking a moment, though, I realized that this was the perfect way to add more me-time and social events to my calendar. Transitioning from the summer to the school year, I knew I needed to find time to prioritize being over doing, and this seemed like the perfect place to start. 

The concept of big and little funs is pretty straightforward. Every week, you simply build in one little activity and one big experience to give yourself something to look forward to and bring more joy to the week. 

These are some ideas I have done over the last couple months and some that I hope to add into the future!

Big Funs:

  1. Go to a Cardinals game or sporting event.
  2. Walk around the Missouri Botanical Garden or another nature trail (preferably with a matcha in hand).
  3. Have a movie night (bonus points if you make snacks for the occasion).
  4. Treat yourself to a gourmet, homemade dinner (and invite your friends to join in).
  5. Try that new restaurant that everyone has been raving about (this is a great way to explore the city as well).
  6. Cross an item off of your city bucket list (mine includes a list of museums, shops and restaurants to try).
  7. Go on a Trader Joe’s run and have a baking party with friends (while jamming out to your favorite artists).
  8. Host a board game night.
  9. Make açai bowls and watch a romantic comedy (this combination is unmatched).
  10. Have a football watch party .
  11. Picnic with your friends (the park by the Arch is my go-to spot).

Little Funs:

  1. Invite a friend to study at a coffee shop or public library (I’ve heard that cute aesthetics produce better study results).
  2. Explore different churches in your neighborhood.
  3. Listen to your favorite album on a hot girl walk.
  4. Attend a yoga class.
  5. Get ice cream with friends.
  6. Curl up with a book and cup of tea.
  7. Stop by a local farmer’s market.
  8. Star gaze .
  9. Make a gourmet breakfast for you and your roommates (the quality of your morning determines the quality of your day).

Of course, some weeks are going to be more challenging than others, and it may seem daunting to find time to squeeze in one more activity. However, I have found that, if I plan my activities out on Friday for the next week, I can line all of the plans out with friends and work around assignments. 

Big and little funs have changed the way I approach my weeks as a student-athlete, and they make my days feel happier and more meaningful. Knowing that I have time carved out for myself makes my life feel my own. You only get to experience college while living with some of your closest friends once, so what is the point in denying yourself the simple pleasures? The film “Sleepless in Seattle” captures this idea best because we really would “be fools to let happiness pass us by.” Adding big and little funs to your routine can add so much leisure and romance to your 168 hours. So the next time someone asks you what you have been up to, you will have a story worth sharing. 

Though she was not raised a city girl, Allie is an avid explorer of St. Louis, where she is currently studying English and Spanish at Saint Louis University. On campus, she is on the softball team and is involved in the Honors program, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, St. Edmund Campion Society, and, of course, Her Campus. She loves travel, music, Christmas-scented candles, gluten-free baked goods, romantic comedies, and yoga. You can almost always find her with a protein latte and book in hand.