Spring feels weird, embrace it

Gabrielle LavanOpinions Columnist

Spring is a time of rejuvenation. The snow has melted, the grass grows greener, and the bugs crawl out from hell to bother us once again. Springtime lays the groundwork for summertime to prevail. However, spring can be a time of deep discomfort because of its transitional nature. This is especially true for Gusties because springtime is a sign that the school year is coming to an end with finals, graduation, and move-out fast approaching. 

Even so, with spring comes a renewed sense of hope, especially after a snowy winter. Warmer temperatures mean more opportunities for getting outside without fear of treacherous road conditions and frostbite. However, the transition from a cozy winter into a lush springtime can be clunky, awkward, and downright uncomfortable. Our personalities and sense of self thaw out  alongside the snow banks around campus.

The cyclical nature of the seasons can and should be applied to how we think and operate during times of change. In many cultures, springtime represents rebirth. It is a signal to all natural life that a change is coming. No wonder that when spring rolls around, many of us are ready to toss our books aside for grander adventures. The lack of motivation to finish out the semester grows as soon as the weather goes above freezing.

That is what makes the springtime so weird. It is less distinct than summer, fall, or winter. It disrupts the flow of the school year and exists only as a bridge between winter and summer. For Gusties, it is the season of change. We’re gearing up for moving out of a space we have lived in for nine months, preparing for summer endeavors, and solidifying our next steps. There is a nostalgia that pairs well with the hopefulness of the season. At once, we are mourning the passing of what we knew to then embrace what is yet to come. 

Something that does not help is the flood of emails that comes a month before the end of the semester reminding us of the impending move-out, onboarding for summer internships, and graduation. In the spirit of planning ahead, we lose any semblance of remaining in the moment. It is hard to enjoy the few remaining moments on The Hill when it is thoroughly entwined with its impending end. 

Balancing a healthy amount of hope and nostalgia will be a common theme throughout our lives as we face many beginnings and ends. Accepting the ebb and flow of the changing seasons is just one of the ways we can cope with the natural cycle of things. Even so, it is hard to feel okay in this seasonal purgatory. Though change is naturally occurring and inevitable, it does not make it any easier. 

I cannot promise that it will be easy to say goodbye to life on The Hill for just a few short months if you are coming back next year, or until the next time we make the trek to campus on a nostalgic visit to those of us graduating. However, what I can guarantee is that we will all find our footing and sustain through the uncomfortable transitional times in our lives. 

Whether you are totally comfortable with change, or are adverse towards anything to do with it, embracing change is as important as remaining present in any way possible. If that means having a few awkward interactions in the Campus Center with that person you thought looked familiar, that is okay. As guaranteed as the changing of the weather is that change is awkward. 

It is hard to embrace that spring awkwardness. It can be tempting to hole up in your dorm, not say hello to that person in the hallway, or avoid that conversation about what you are up to this summer because your plans have not quite fallen into place. However, it is easier to embrace the changing seasons of life than it is to resist. 

Finding moments to embrace the awkwardness in a time of change is the perfect way to embrace the awkwardness of change. Here are just a few ways to intentionally embrace the discomfort during the remainder of our time on campus:

  1. Purposefully attend an event that puts you out of your comfort zone. 
  2. Greet someone in passing that you only kind of know.
  3. Try something new that you could possibly be terrible at.
  4. Sit in a new building to do your homework.
  5. Avoid using your earbuds or headphones while walking around campus for a day.

Be brave and embrace the discomfort of a changing environment, Gusties. Know that after times of change come times of comfort and stability.