I Can't Wait To Spring Clean And Finally Feel Happy Again

I Can't Wait To Spring Clean Because I'll Finally Be Happy Again

I'm excited to be out with the old and in with the new.

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Snow is melting and spring is finally starting to show its colors. The temperature is slowly creeping up, the sun is shining and I couldn't be more excited to get to cleaning. This winter has seemed endless and being inside all the time is starting to get really old.

I'm ready to clean. I'm ready to shed the seasonal depression and smile again. My room has started to feel stuffy and packed and I want it to feel open again. I'm excited to switch my clothes out, put blankets away and lighten my bed up. I can't wait to feel like I can breathe again.

I know last spring I wrote about how I don't believe in spring cleaning, but this year is different. I fell on ice at work the beginning of 2019 and now I have a compression fracture in my spine. Shortly after that fall, my boss let me go through text message.

This injury is taking a long time to heal and I've been so restricted because of it. I feel sad and angry a lot of the time about what happened because none of it was fair. So much of winter has been awful for me, and I'm so ready to transition into spring and feel good again.

I've already gone over in my head the things I want to do and change. What I want to throw out, move around and put away. I can't wait to get started because I know how good I'm going to feel once it's done.

I'm excited for that feeling of accomplishment and relief.

I also feel like once I start, I'm going to feel productive. I'm going to want to keep going and do stuff again. I'll finally be able to sit down and write more, finish that book I started and take another class online. In turn, that happy feeling that I've been missing will stay there.

There's so much stress that comes with winter and the build-up to spring and summer. I want that gone. I want to go in my room and feel comfortable, not stare at everything that needs to be changed and cleaned. I can't wait for that stress to be lifted off my shoulders allowing me to finally relax.

I'm ready to get rid of the old and start fresh with something new.

What is your favorite part about spring cleaning? How does it make you feel?

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40 Things To Do During Summer Vacation

Because we all know four months without college friends or classes is WAY too long.
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It's been less than a week since finals wrapped up at the University of Minnesota, and I, among many of my other friends, are already lost on things to do. Since January, our entire schedules have been filled with homework and studying. The new freedom summer brings provides endless time (in between our summer job shifts, of course) for new activities and things you wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to do during the school year. Below is a list of 40 different activities to keep you entertained during your break and to ensure you make the most of your summer.


1. Learn a new language.

I highly recommend starting with Duolingo. It's an app that provides free language tutoring through a series of activities and exercises. It offers a wide variety of languages such as Spanish, German, Greek, Swahili, among many others.

2. Volunteer.

There's an endless amount of volunteering opportunities offered throughout every major city in the country. For example, many hospitals will accept volunteers, as well as organizations in Minnesota such as Feed, My Starving Children, or the Ronald McDonald House. Most positions only require an application but be sure to check for minimum requirements such as age or experience.

3. Read a book.

Go to a library and wander until you find a book you think you'll like. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

4. Watch a TED talk.

This is one of my favorite hobbies any time of the year. TED is a nonprofit organization that shares short, approximately 15-minute videos ranging from science to business to global issues. There's a topic out there for everyone.

5. Start a garden.

Even if you don't have any outdoor space, succulents and cacti are very low maintenance and still add a little "green" to your indoor space.

6. Go camping.

Whether it's at a campground or in your backyard, enjoy the technology-free time with your family or friends.

7. Paint.

If you're not an artistic person, go to the store, buy a set of Crayola watercolors, and just paint.

8. Take an online course.

Coursera and edX both supply free online courses from top universities such as Yale, MIT, and Harvard. If you're trying to further your understanding of a particular topic such as physics or biology, I suggest starting with these websites.

9. Bake brownies or cookies.

Most stores stock up on the prepared cookie or brownie mixes, but if you have the time and ingredients, try making them from scratch.

10. Fly a kite.

Kites are available on Amazon for $10-$15, and instruction videos are available on YouTube to help you get started.

11. Play board games.

Life and Scrabble are my go-to's.

12. Make a scrapbook of old memories.

If you have the time and a little extra money, I promise the end-product will be worthwhile.

13. Start a journal.

You don't have to go buy the fancy Moleskin journals or buy an expensive one from Barnes and Noble, a simple notebook will do the trick. Write down your thoughts and document your summer.

14. Go to the beach.

Enjoy the sunshine, but don't forget sunscreen!

15. Go fishing.

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and one of them is most likely within driving distance. Take the time on a nice, calm morning, and go fishing.

16. Binge-watch a TV show on Netflix.

"The Office," "Friends," "New Girl," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Grey's Anatomy" are good places to start.

17. Start a bucket list and cross off one item every week.

The items added don't have to be spectacular and nearly unattainable, they can be little things, too. In other words, I'm not expecting you to go skydiving, swim with sharks, and go on a cruise all in one month.

18. Learn to rock climb.

Both indoor and outdoor rock climbing are available depending on your level of comfort and experience. Remember to take every safety precaution and have fun.

19. Catch up with an old friend over coffee.

Call the friend you haven't seen in three years and ask to catch up over coffee. You never know how much their life has changed since last speaking with you.

20. Have a picnic.

Pack a basket with sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, and juice, and find a nice spot with a view. Maybe bring a book for a post-picnic activity.

21. Meditate or do yoga.

If you're unexperienced in both of these activities, many YouTube channels provide instructional videos. I'll post a link to one of my favorite YouTube yoga instructors here.

22. Learn a new instrument.

Whether it's piano, guitar, or even this $7.49 recorder from Amazon, try something new.

23. Discover new music.

Spotify and Pandora are great music platforms to discover different songs and artists. Keep checking your local venues and maybe attend a concert if possible.

24. Complete a puzzle.

You can buy puzzles online for around $10-$15. However, thrift stores and stores like Goodwill often sell them for less than $5.

25. Visit a museum.

The Science Museum of Minnesota and Minneapolis Institute of Art are two of the post popular museums in Minnesota. If you check their websites and other internet sources such as Groupon, you might be able to find a discount for admission.

26. Go to a comedy show.

I'm unaware of good comedy events around the country, but if you ever find yourself in downtown Minneapolis, check out Brave New Workshop.

27. Build a card tower.

If you're unsure how to do so, here is a link to instructions.

28. Reorganize and redecorate your room.

If you'd like a change in your life, try redecorating or reorganizing your room. Donate old clothes, books, or furniture no longer in use.

29. Marathon the entire Harry Potter series.

I challenge you to do this back-to-back with each movie, but I also realize that is 19 hours and 39 minutes of watching movies, not including snack or bathroom breaks.

30. Play with a pet.

It doesn't have to be your own. For a real adventure, check out the nearest animal shelter.

31. Start a blog.

Wordpress and Weebly are two online blogging websites that I highly suggest. Although it takes awhile to become accustomed to the platform, these websites are great because they're entirely customizable to the type of blog you wish to create.

32. Go for a bike ride.

Whether it's along the river or out on back roads, go for a ride.

33. Teach yourself how to juggle.

This might be easier said than done, but some videos on YouTube might be useful.

34. Take a bubble bath.

Some bubble bath or a bath bomb, music, and a good book will have you relaxed almost instantly.

35. Go to a farmer's market.

Support the farmers in your community and try buying local. With a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and flowers, there's something for everyone. The farmer's market in downtown Minneapolis is open Thursday's from 6am-6pm, while the Lyndale Market is open daily from 6am-1pm.


36. Exercise.

Go for a walk. Run. Bike. Do yoga. Play soccer. Just get up, and get moving.

37. Become a tourist in your own city.

Pretend you're from out of state and only have a limited amount of time to explore your city. Take yourself and your friends or family to the must-see places around town.

38. Color.

Adult coloring books have become an increasingly popular trend. Available online, Barnes and Noble, and Target, they're easily accessible. You can buy a book, some colored pencils or pens, and enjoy the relaxing day.

39. Spend time with your family and friends.

Whether it's a movie day or going out on a walk, put away your phone or laptop for a day and appreciate the people standing around you.

40. Enjoy all the time you have not worrying about studying or homework.

Cover Image Credit: Joe Pizzio // Unsplash

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5 Things All Elon Students Know To Be True At The End Of The Spring Semester

It's the best and worst time of the year.

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Come the second half of spring semester, the college environment begins to change a little bit. Before spring break, the thought of summer seems so far away. After spring break, summer is just weeks away, which is both good and bad. It's good because, in just a few short weeks, students will finally be relieved of the grueling work and busy schedules. It's bad because it means the end of another year of college. The seniors will graduate, you'll have to leave the nice college environment, and things will be different.

As summer is less than two weeks away, I can honestly say I've never wanted to stay in one place so badly, which is weird. After every other semester, I have been more than ready for a break from school. I have been excited to pack up and leave for a bit, spend time with my family, not worry about work, and just have more free time. But this year is different. I am not ready to leave college, the fun environment, and my friends who are never further than a 15-minute walk away.

There's something about the college environment that changes this time of year. In my past two springs at Elon, I've noticed the things that the end of the semester brings, and I'm sure other students can relate.

1. Trying to either get rid of or desperately hold onto meal swipes and meal dollars

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There are two types of people when it comes to meal plans. There are the people who use theirs constantly, rationing their meal swipes daily and making sure their meal dollars will last them to the end of the semester. Then, there are people who never use their meal plan and end up having so much to spend at the end of the year. That's me. As a result, I am constantly offering to buy people food and get meals with them. That's how you know it's getting close to the end.

2. So many dogs on campus

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BEST PART OF THE SPRING. There are already tons of dogs on campus but when it's warm out, students play with their dogs outside and take them on walks more often. It's so nice passing some good dogs on the way to class, on the way to dinner, etc. Elon, never stop letting the dogs out.

3. EVERYONE is selling things

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My Facebook page is currently blowing up with people posting their old clothes, furniture, etc. for sale. When it's the end of the year, people start to think about moving out and panic about how much stuff they have. I know that I somehow managed to accumulate way too many clothes over the course of the school year, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get it all back home. But seriously, last year, I remember seeing posts on Instagram and Snapchat where girls advertised that they were selling their clothes. It's actually quite a fun time.

4. So many outdoor events

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Another thing that happens more towards the end of the semester is an increase in fun outdoor events. Now, that is due to the warm North Carolina weather (FINALLY), but it's also a sign that summer is coming soon. It's usually a good thing to be outside in the spring, except when it's unbearably humid or teachers who move class outside try to actually make you do work.

5. Mixed emotions are everywhere

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This isn't strictly for Elon students I'm assuming. Spring is a weird time for everyone. The mixed emotions come from the happiness that summer and freedom are coming, paired with sadness that we have to leave some of our closest friends and greatest adventures. It is always fun to think about the cool things you'll do over the summer, but friends will miss each other. Unless you're a senior (sorry guys), you're not too sad because you know you get to return to Elon in just a couple months.

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