Listomania: Best RomComs to Force Your Significant Other to Watch
- The Wedding Planner
- 10 Things I Hate About You
- The Proposal
- The Notebook
- When Harry Met Sally
- Silver Linings Playbook
- A Cinderella Story
- Bridget Jones’s Diary
- Love Actually
- Valentine’s Day
- Groundhog Day
- To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Valentine’s Day was always the weirdest holiday. Especially in elementary school, when on February 12th you would drag your mom to CVS to pick up some corny cartoon-themed Valentine’s cards and a bag of those hard, chalky hearts. It was fun in theory, until you arrived back home and you had to start filling out all of the cards with the same fake message aside from adding a little additional love to your “best friends.” Maybe you would add an extra piece of candy to your crush’s card, but other than that it was repetitive.
It was always interesting showing up to school on the 14th with a bag full of cards and candies. There was such palpable energy in the room—everyone knew they were getting something, but when would the exchange happen? Normally the teachers would wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day and immediately jump into the lesson. Business as usual. Maybe you would try to slip your friends their special cards with the better candy, but it would always fail. The chalky hearts were always hit or miss; the white and pink ones were always good but the green had a weird flavor to it. Purple was either grape or some bizarre flavor they cooked up. They really lost their appeal when you graduated elementary school; now they were only good for display purposes, showing off on social media that you had gotten a valentine. As you got older you received roses on Valentine’s Day—tasteful, but when done in big bundles, tacky and far too fragrant. With the roses came a cheap bottle of red wine and maybe a big box of chocolates that you’ll eat your favorites out of before they go stale in the pantry.
I wish Valentine’s Day was the same as it used to be. I want a little Spongebob card and a heart shaped lollipop that tastes like strawberries. I want to feel giddy again about this weird holiday. I wish I could go back in time and be in elementary school exchanging Valentine’s cards instead of thinking about how capitalistic Valentine’s Day really is. I would love to see Saint Valentine roam the streets and look into people’s windows on this Valentine’s Day. I would love to see the look on his face as he takes in how weird this holiday is—how it has devolved. I wonder if Saint Valentine would like the chalk heart candies or if he would find the smell of roses awful or if he would eat all of the chocolates before they went stale.
Starting the Spring Semester with Self-love
The spring semester has officially begun, and we have all returned to Friartown ready to dive back into work. Or have we? Hopefully, you spent your break recovering from the fall semester, but regardless, you may be struggling with the return to campus. Research studies indicate that taking vacations can help reduce stress and have numerous other benefits. It’s important that you use your break time to get away from the stress of college and recharge before the next semester. You once again have time to enjoy your hobbies, read a book, or binge-watch that show you’ve been dying to see.
Although many of us are excited to be back on campus and see our friends, it can be a rude awakening to launch back into academics. The work seems to pile up quickly, and all that free time you enjoyed not too long ago instantly vanishes. It’s impossible for that refreshed feeling to stay with you for the whole semester if it goes unnurtured. It’s easy to say you don’t have time for self-care, but it’s just as easy to engage in quick activities that promote positive mental health and help keep you feeling refreshed. There are so many simple things that can be done that will help you both in and out of the classroom.
A relatively new technique to slow down the craziness of college life is referred to as nature bathing. This essentially means taking a walk out in nature. Recent psychological research has found that spending time in and focusing on nature helps both your physical and mental health. The research shows that nature helps reduce stress and anxiety as well as refocus your attention. If you feel yourself starting to get burnt out, take a break from the assignment and take a brief walk through nature and focus only on noticing the things around you. After your walk, you can return to your work feeling refreshed and ready to resume.
If it’s too cold outside or you’re looking for another way to refresh, there are other quick techniques that can save you from burning out. Mindfulness is another way to pause the chaos happening around you. While it’s understandable that not everyone wants—or has the time—to sit down and meditate, there are much simpler (and quicker) ways to go about this. If you truly feel you cannot add anything else into your schedule, add mindfulness to the existing parts of your day. Pay attention to the sounds you hear as you walk from class to class. This is one way to quiet your mind and refocus yourself. Additionally, there are quick mindfulness exercises to listen to while you’re in the shower. No matter what your schedule looks like, you have these in between moments that are perfect for a quick exercise.
If mindfulness really isn’t for you, you need to find what activity you enjoy that always leaves you feeling refreshed. One of the best forms of self-care is simply making time for yourself. Try to find some free time every once in a while to process the events of your day, talk to your friends, read a book, or watch a show. As college students, the days go by so quickly and we often focus on what’s next on our agendas. We need time to reflect on what we’ve done and reflect on the events of the day. If you leave no time to process, reflect, and refocus, this will inevitably lead to burnout. It’s important to set these good techniques now while we’re still in school. For the most part, when we enter the workforce, we don’t get a month off, or any extended breaks at all. It is important for us to learn now how to manage our time while maintaining our mental health and allowing us time for the things we enjoy. This is the time when you get to figure out what works best for you. Don’t waste this opportunity to learn how to help yourself; it goes by far too quickly.