Even though it’s only the first week of school, some students are already experiencing a laziness and boredom that is usually associated with holidays away from classes. What makes this worse are these dismal facts, spring break is weeks away, and the semester only just started. The dismal mood of winter months isn’t helping, either. Here are some survival tips to make the beginning of the spring semester bearable, at the very least.
Get involved. I know how horrible that sounds – the kind of thing that you heard every day in high school and wished to never witness again. But there’s some truth in that statement, I promise. When you’re involved in a club or society, you have something to do that could alleviate the inevitable winter boredom. You’ll meet new people, which is a rare opportunity at a commuter school such as CSUN. Better yet, there are clubs for everyone at school, catering to every interest and culture. Depending on what type of group you join, you could also help your post-college career through networking, especially if you are involved in a professional society. Check with your department’s office to find out more about groups that will help you in your major.
This next one isn’t so interesting, but is necessary for many college students. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which each student in need of federal aid must fill out, is due by March 2. Everyone has to complete their taxes by April 15. Those two deadlines are looming in the back of my mind, and might be for other students. I’m starting to think that whoever thought up these deadlines (especially the date for the FAFSA) was some horrible sadist, intent on making students’ lives miserable – complicated financial forms due during midterms? It’s the only explanation. But there’s a way to make it easier: get them both done early. It’s a weird idea, I know, but it will actually work. You can have both forms done by mid-February (it’s true!), and thus won’t face the horrible combination of finances and midterms in March and April.
Take advantage of the services offered on campus. Free entertainment like the movie screenings held each month or concerts and exhibits at CSUN’s art gallery can help to break up the monotony of homework and cold weather. The Klotz Student Health Center offers low-cost services that have great benefits – the massage therapy given there can make you forget about your term paper for at least a few blissful moments. With prices at CSUN rising virtually all the time, you might as well take advantage of the services your tuition pays for. You’ll feel satisfied by the fact that your money hasn’t been wasted, and the entertainment offered could ease winter doldrums.
There are plenty of ways to kill time until the legendary debauchery that is spring break, yet still remain entertained and – as boring as it sounds – retain some vague sense of responsibility by completing your taxes and financial aid requirements early, rather than leaving them to be dealt with during midterms, which is a truly frightening situation. The only thing left to do is figure out how to make the winter months go by as fast as possible, which will hopefully be helped by these ideas.