Opinion, Staff Editorial

Reflect on time passing to break up the monotony of the semester

Daylight savings ended Nov. 5. Class registration for spring semester has already started. It’s the second week of November. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s been one year since Trump was elected president.

Our journalism professors reading this are cringing because we just violated their advice to never start a story with something as boring as a timestamp. But sometimes it’s necessary to stop and remember that time is passing.

This part of the semester can drag on endlessly. We’ve settled into a firm routine with classes, work, extracurriculars and social life, but the cost of that routine is each week feeling completely monotonous.

This is especially true this year because of Hurricane Irma. We had this massive interruption to our calendar, and the semester is extended for so long that instead of feeling like our semester is winding down, it feels eternal.

Elsewhere, the changing colors of the leaves and the cooling of the weather tangibly mark the passing of time, and with that comes a change of pace – heavier, warmer food and drinks, low-key indoor activities and more serious relationships. But here, life can feel like it always stays the same.

If you’re a freshman, set a list of goals right now for what you’d like do, see or accomplish while you’re here. There’s tons to explore, and you won’t want to wake up as a senior feeling like you’ve done the same things for the past four years, none of which you really wanted to do.

If you’re a junior or sophomore and still acting like a freshman, going to frat parties and the Grove every week, it might be time to take stock of the time that has gone by and if this is how you’ll want to have spent your college years. After all, four years will come and go more quickly than you might realize.

If you’re a senior, you’re about to enter a completely new phase of life after graduation. You might be living in a new city, going to a different graduate school, working in a job you’ve never done before, hanging out with a completely different social circle or experiencing a myriad of other changes. Seniors seem acutely aware of this and force themselves to appreciate moments as they happen because they know it will be over soon. But if more people took that approach to other years of college, it could help this transition seem less daunting.

Plan an excursion somewhere you’ve never been in the city. Delegate one of your weekly responsibilities to someone else, and take the time you would’ve spent on that to do something special with someone you love. Take care of a health problem that you’ve put off and have yet to address. Take a weekend trip, even if it’s just a “staycation” or a day trip to Fort Lauderdale. Camp out at a cafe or restaurant in a new neighborhood and chat some people up.

Overall, one of the best ways to combat the monotony is to make time to reflect on your experiences.

The holidays in particular are a time for reflection. Take some time to sit down and write cards to friends, family, professors and loved ones who have made this year a little better. It encourages you to remember what matters, and there’s nothing more refreshing than performing little acts of kindness for others.

At the end of each year, you can also revisit “resolutions” without judgment and write out good things that happened, accomplishments or growth spurts for each month of the year. It’s easy to forget all you accomplished or learned when the year becomes one big – and intensely humid – blur.

Celebrate the small victories, tell your friends how much you care about them and try to keep your eyes on the big picture. Mostly, though, talk about things that matter. Get a group of friends together one night and talk about your large scale goals and dreams, your best and worst moments of college so far and how you’ve evolved as a person. There is a ton of growth that happens during these years, but reflection is crucial to keep going upward. “Fall” in love with your life again.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

November 6, 2017

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.