The snow has melted, the birds are chirping and sunshine has become a permanent part of the forecast. As exams are winding down and many of you are eager to start your vacation, it’s important to consider doing a round of spring cleaning in certain areas of your life. After months of enduring the biting cold and the pressure of schoolwork, your physical and mental states are in need of a tuneup.
It’s important to take a break and clear your head from time to time. You end up making room for new ideas and broadening your perspective. As most of your time has been spent memorizing formulas or writing essays on The Great Gatsby, it’s time to give your brain some TLC.
a. Reading for fun is a great way to exercise your mind in an enjoyable way. It’s also helpful during the summer to keep your brain from getting too mushy. By September, the onslaught of readings necessary for school won’t faze you as much! Book Riot has some great recommendations that are sure to put a spring in your step.
b. If you’re more of a physical learner, exploring the city is a great way to open your mind and refresh your visual library (and your Instagram page). Obvious picks include the Art Gallery of Ontario and the ROM, but blogTO has some great recommendations of events happening this spring.
After months of holing up in your room with a blanket-scarf wrapped tightly around your shoulders, it’s time to uncoil your limbs and stretch into a new season. The temperature is no longer below freezing and the barely clad trees are no longer ominously swaying in the wind.
a. Take a walk! Walks are a great way to embrace spring and get some exercise while you’re at it. As York students, we are no strangers to walking long distances, but now with the weather winding down, we can admire the blossoms at Schulich and the sunlight bouncing off the steel of food trucks! Beaver tails by the quad, anyone?
b. If you’re looking for a more serious exercise routine but not sure where to start, try fitness classes. I plan on taking some drop-in ones at Tait this summer — they’re usually about an hour, great for a lunch break or a stint between summer classes. The group environment is less scary and you might even make some new friends.
You might be thinking that style isn’t an important area of your life, but you’ve been terribly misled! Your clothes introduce you before you introduce yourself, so it’s important to freshen up your wardrobe to keep up with your evolving style. But before we can do that, you need to organize your current clothes to make room for new ones. After your post-exam relaxation, set aside a few hours to properly clean out your closet. Here’s how to go about it:
a. In your room, take out all your clothes (and I mean everything) and organize them in to three piles: one for clothes you absolutely love with three exclamation marks, one for clothes you’re not so sure about, and one for clothes that are torn/beyond repair. Get two trash bags and put them aside.
b. Obviously, the clothes you love get to stay. These are usually clothes you wear the most often. The clothes that are torn or have stains can go in one of the garbage bags.
c. The problem lies mainly with the unsure pile: these clothing items are in this pile because you like them but seldom wear them. Why? Maybe because you thought they were stylish at the store but then don’t actually feel that comfortable wearing them. The key to style is this: wear clothes that make you feel good. If you’ve bought something because it’s on trend but it’s not an item that appeals to you personally, throw it into the second garbage bag! Trends come and go for a reason — as much as fashion magazines like to tell you otherwise, they are not for everyone. For example, athleisure is a hot trend right now, but you won’t see me in a topknot and Lululemon tights anytime soon.
For the other clothes that you’re not sure where things went wrong, try to compare them to the ones you currently wear the most (first pile). If you can’t create at least 4-5 outfits with those items, they need to be tossed. The idea is that if you buy something you truly love on the rack, you should also love it in your own closet. If you’re not reaching for a particular item when getting dressed in the morning, there’s usually a reason. Listen to your intuition!
d. The clothes you weren’t sure about can go in the second bag, and I recommend that you donate them. Pay it forward! For your act of generosity, you can splurge on new clothes or snag a great deal on vintage ones — my fellow blogger Jasmin at Glendon wrote a great post on cruising the thrift store scene on a student budget.
Ultimately, spring is a time for renewal. Don’t wait for New Year’s Eve to make positive changes — you can become a new, improved you anytime you want!
What are your tips for embracing spring? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @yorkustudents!
Note: This blog post was last updated and revised April 12, 2017.