by: Lou Stein
By this time of year, everyone’s feeling the crunch of due dates and group assignments. For those of us counting down the seconds till fall free days, there truly is no better way to seek help than to solicit the advice of an equally stressed and similarly speculative peer. So fear not! My vast years of experience make me the most qualified to share sturdy yet superfluous tips on how to savor this brief break:
My first tip is to make this a cathartic time for yourself. It’s super unhealthy to wall up your emotions. So rather than letting yourself crumble under the emotional weight of the semester, take the time to really re-cement yourself. It’s important to have a solid foundation moving forward- after all, the school year is only going to get worse from here. So park yourself somewhere out of the way, and really make sure you’re stable for the second half of the semester.
Second is to spend time with friends. During the school year it can be easy to catch up with friends at the café or after class, but make sure that you don’t neglect them during your break. You wouldn’t want to take them for granite. In fact, you might just make their day by sending out periodic updates on what is or isn’t working at any particular moment. Don’t worry about the time of day- even a message at 7:30 a.m. can be an interesting topic of conversation for the rest of the week.
Fall free days is also a good time to exercise. Nothing helps you reconstruct a healthy lifestyle quite like working out. Maybe there has been some blockage that’s made your life sedimentary. Perhaps there is some new barricade in your schedule that needs to fall away for something better. Well, clean up the rubble and routine by hitting the gym. After all, a good work out can really clear your head and remove obstacles.
Fourth is to jam out to new music. Rock out to some new hits or maybe some old classics. Try digging up some really underground music like ‘The Smithereens” or “The Replacements.” I know I’ve been getting into metal and 80s- rock lately, but don’t take my word for it. Slide on a pair of headphones and hit the ground running with a new musical genre. We can only sing “Bless the Rains” so many times before things start going south.
My final piece of advice this fall free days is to try something new. Longtime readers know that there is no time like the present to take up a new hobby and get a fresh start with things. Maybe visit the Stone Cliff winery, watch the new Dwayne Johnson movie “Skyscraper,” or hike up the bluffs at the Mines of Spain. If you’re heading west this break, I highly suggest visiting “Climb Iowa” the state’s largest indoor rock-climbing park. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there, even if it seems difficult, don’t knock yourself down over it.