Yes, you read that correctly, February, the only month with 28/29 days a year, is THE longest month, especially to college students in the northern states like me! It’s cold, it’s snowy, it’s windy, and, with hardly any chance for a snow day EVER, most students walking to class feel this way:
Plus exams are starting to ramp up again and Spring Break is seemingly nowhere in sight (I feel your pain). This causes stress and because of that you may be about to seek solace in unhealthy activities. STOP IMMEDIATELY! Although February is the yellow Starburst of all the months you have a golden opportunity to explore the hidden indoor gems of your campus or find something new to do. Here are my five ways to break out of the doldrums of February and keep fighting to Spring Break.
1. Join a Student Org
You remember that student org fair you attended at the beginning of last semester? (Yeah) And remember when you said, “I’m going to join that one them,”? (Yeah) And remember when you didn’t join that org because you were too worried about making friends and how classes were going to be? (Yeah…) Well now you have a semester under your belt and the time on your hands, it’s time to get involved!
Being in a student org does so many good things for you. First, they help expand your friend group to people with similar interests as you. Second, they teach you valuable skills you can apply to everyday life such as journalism or beer brewing (Not like finding the tangent or derivative or whatever it was I learned in calculus freshman year). Lastly, they help you connect with professionals in your field of interest who could one day be a reference and help you find a job after graduation or internship for the summer.
2. Hit the Gym
You know how everybody fears the “Freshman 15”? Well that’s because it’s a real thing and it will find you and it will eat you (Pun completely intended). If you’re feeling as if this was you last semester:
Then maybe it’s time you explored the local fitness facilities on campus, which are free to students! Going to the gym doesn’t just help your physical health, but also your mental health. Many college students frequently experience feelings of depression and anxiety and it only gets worse with the winter months (Thanks a lot, February). Do both your body and mind a favor and get to the gym to weight lift, run, or play some pick-up basketball games for at least 30 minutes, you’ll feel 10X better.
3. Check Out the Union Cinema
Many people don’t know this but most college campuses have a cinema in their union, which was perfect for me because I love movies, but I also didn’t know it existed until my second semester. They play all different genres of movies from foreign and independent films to the classic and most current hits.
An even bigger plus is that they’re free to students! Now I don’t know if this is true for all campuses but for mine, the best one in the nation, we can bring in our own drinks and snacks, saving you an arm and a leg from buying a drink and popcorn. This can be a good stress reliever to get you out of the dorm or house as well as a good date idea for those trying to save money.
4. Find a Hobby
This may seem pretty simple but you wouldn’t believe how many people forget to find a hobby to help pass the boring times. I myself do a couple things because I get bored really fast: I like puzzles because they keep my mind stimulated, Paint-By-Number is a timeless classic, and I currently crochet (I actually made my friends hats for Christmas this year and I’m proud).
You don’t have to do any of those things, especially the crochet (I picked that up years ago and never fully finished learning to make a hat). I think you all know where I’m headed with this, Pinterest. It has a lot of good stuff for all genders and after being a Residential Assistant for a year I know the true power it holds. Give it a try and maybe you’ll find something you can stand to do for a couple hours.
5. Plan a Weekly Event
One of the things I actually like about February is how there’s something going on almost every weekend. There’s the Super Bowl, the Grammy’s, the Academy Awards, and even Valentine’s Day (If you care about it that is). These are perfect opportunities for you to plan ahead and watch one of these events with your friends. I often find when you have something planned for the end of the week it helps it go by that much faster, and so does the month, coincidentally.
It doesn’t have to be that either, it can be a game night, a night out trying a new restaurant, or whatever else you choose to do just do it with your closest friends! That’s really the secret to beating February: find a close group of friends and plan a night with them, you’ll always look forward to it, it’ll always pass the time quickly, and you’ll always have a great memory.
It’s never too late to do any of these things either. As a senior I just joined a marketing org and I wish I could have joined it sooner because of the great people and the valuable skills I could have learned. So get out there, try something new, and enjoy your time on campus and maybe you’ll be able to turn that yellow Starburst into a red one.
What do you do to help pass the time in winter? Let me know in the comments below.