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Scheduled Spontaneity

For many college students, the academic year is underway and they are starting to get a feel for how the semester is going to go day-to-day. There is absolutely comfort in knowing where to go, how long it takes to get there, and the perfect seat in each class. Students on a semester calendar might have a lull of excitement around October (perhaps sooner). Some of this can be prevented by small adjustments to the daily routine.

Food. Change up where and what you eat. If your schedule conveniently works such that you get your favorite lunch at the same place and same time every day, you’re going to grow to HATE that lunch. You may say something like “the food here sucks” or other prose of eloquence, but it’s usually a function of boredom than quality of dining.

Space. Explore. Even on small campuses, there are little-used areas that can become your favorite spot for some quiet time. Give yourself permission to wander. Also, look at your schedule. Really look at it. You can likely find time to seek out a great space on campus or even nearby.

Friends. Add to your support network by finding more new friends. It’s really difficult with the ease of isolation and connection through social media. When you find an actual living-breathing, sharing-the-same-physical-space human being, it helps you feel like you belong - because you do. Where? How? Clubs, organizations, class projects, campus events, study groups, (for those of you leaning toward extroverted tendencies) in line for coffee or dinner.

You. Make yourself a priority. If you need some “you time,” consider not spending it with your favorite streaming service, social media platform, or gaming console. If you’re going to spend the time anyway, walk around campus, aimlessly. If your campus has a recreation center, go to it. You paid for it already, may as well use it even if to just walk around.

This is just a sampling of the ways to engage with your campus differently to prevent burnout or boredom. It seems silly discussing this so early on, but the best way to prevent anything is to act early.

Please share your thoughts on how to jostle the daily routine to spark even more interest in the college experience!

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