Summer Motivations: Staying Sane in the Final Stretch

Maia HonlOpinion Columnist

We are now officially three-ish weeks away from finals, to which I have only this to say: AAAAAAAAAAHHH.
With that off my chest and out of my conscience, I’d like to start feeling some hope. I’m a very goal-oriented person, so I have had my eyes set to summer for the last two months. Think “The High School Musical 2 opening” levels of excitement. Do my readings make me stay up late and cause me to lose time for self care? Yes, but that just seems to be the college experience for everyone at this point. What keeps me going and fuels my dreams at night is May 12, the first official day of summer vacation for Gustavus students. I have daydreamed about how it’ll feel to wake up on that Wednesday morning and feel the freeing relief of having nothing to do for the day. I’m able to make it through my day easier with the knowledge that I’m that much closer to homemade Kool-Aid slushies and the sun. But even if that first day of summer is a wonderful occasion of nothing in particular, that doesn’t mean I don’t have big plans for the summer.
First plan of action? Redecorating my room. Coming to Gustavus in the fall and having the chance to decorate my dorm made me realize that I had spent the last six months in a room that wasn’t really mine anymore. So after I get home and stuff my face with my parent’s cooking, I’m going to completely change how my space looks. A fresh room will be great to rest in, which I am going to desperately be catching up on after this semester. I haven’t changed my room in forever, so the change of pace will be great. I’ve also heard that redecorating helps with mental health and getting rid of the old and stale, so that’s an added bonus. I’m thinking forest green with a paneled mirror, who knows what else will inspire me.
Inspiration has been lacking for far too long now. With the lack of inspiration comes a lack of motivation to do any of the things that make you happy. I’ve lightly touched on some of my hobbies throughout this semester to help keep me sane, but I never had the time to fully dive into these hobbies without having to worry about the obligations within my life. When the 12th gets here, I will have the time to do what makes me happy without stress. I’m not sure about you guys, but I can’t wait until I can read a book without a super-focused analytical lense. I can finally learn to ride my skateboard that I got in December, which would help me look sick on campus next year. I’ll be able to draw and paint pieces again, which my fingers have been itching to create. But I can say with certainty that my favorite thing that I’ll get to do is hang out with my friends. I’ll be able to be there for them, not away and chained to my laptop, marking up an article. Those late night drives will be the most soothing balm for my soul.
While I could mention how I’ll have the time to watch shows I’ve missed because of school, I think I’ve had enough TV to last me a lifetime. Spending quarantine with all of the shows and movies I could have wanted to watch made me glued to my bed, which is probably not the best. Instead of watching TV, I’ll be at Valleyfair the moment it’s safely open. I used to be slightly scared of rollercoasters before quarantine, but now I will gladly ride The Renegade if it will help bring some life back to me. I am going to make myself sick with the amount of rides I’ll go on, and top it all off with the log chute ride. While I’m not sure how a mask would feel against your face while you’re dropping from seven stories in the air, if that’s what it takes to feel stomach-dropping exhilaration again then I’ll do it. This quarantine has made me regret not doing things when I was able to, even if I didn’t do them because of fear. I hate open heights, but was seriously contemplating going skydiving not even a week ago. But for now, I’ll stick with the tamer stuff, like The Wild Thing.
I’ll snap out of these daydreams with heat and the taste of ice cold lemonade fading from my senses, coming back to a grey world filled with final deadlines. but rather than feeling sad, I’ll only feel the summer sun underneath my skin, spurring me on. The sooner I finish my classes, the closer I’ll be to living that liberating reality
they aren’t too filling like chocolate tends to be. Instead, they’re perfectly light and delicious, ready to be munched on throughout the day.
Therefore, my findings lead me to believe that Teddy Grahams are the champion of snacks in the Caf. Many will disagree with me, and many would even say cookies aren’t even a snack, but my research would say otherwise.
So next time you’re on a Caf run and looking for something sweet, chocolate Teddy Grahams are there for you.

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