As the weather in Bethlehem gets warmer, Lehigh students’ day-to-day routines are starting to look a little different.
There is no longer a need to grab our big, puffy coats on the way to class or wear an extra pair of sweatpants under our jeans. Most days, we don’t need to struggle to make room for an umbrella in our bags.
Warmer days mean sitting outside instead of getting all our work done in the depths of the library and in our, probably, dim-lit rooms. It means catching up with the friendly faces you see walking by and stopping at The Grind for a smoothie on the way to class. It means there are only days like this to come.
Still, despite the reprieve we get from warmer weather and longer days, April is a stressful month for Lehigh students. Many of us are dealing with registration, summer internships, jobs and final exams, all while our classes are still moving at full speed and assignments are at an all-semester high.
At the same time, the end is near for many seniors. As their final semester at Lehigh approaches its end, students are figuring out what life is going to look like after graduation. To them, April is a month where things are beginning to look a little too real as some begin to search for apartments and solidify job offers.
But despite all of this stress, it’s important to remember to stop and enjoy it all.
We realize staying in the moment and feeling grateful is much easier said than done, but after spending the past few months battling with seasonal depression induced by colder weather and shorter days, these sunny days are — or at least should be — refreshing.
This period of transition leading to summer is the perfect time to be mindful of and truly appreciate how lucky we are to be here, stress and all.
Although it is often ingrained in us that our main purpose of a university is to receive a degree that can subsequently land us a high-paying job, that does not mean we need to completely exclude the social and emotional benefits that can come with the college experience.
Because, as is often said but not often taken seriously, college is entirely what you make of it.
Admittedly, living your best college life can require an elaborate social-emotional-academic balancing act as you attempt to keep all your balls in the air without one of them crashing to the ground.
Though this can be overwhelming, we’re here to offer a few words of advice and support.
First, it can be tempting to throw one aspect of your work-life balance out the window as you feel the load getting too heavy. Dropping one assignment or acting like a hermit in your room for 36 hours can feel easier than trying to do it all at once.
This approach to managing your time almost never works out. Straining your relationships for your GPA or your GPA for your relationships often ends up with both sides worse off. Transparency with yourself, your friends and your professors about your struggles will go a lot further than radio silence.
And second, college is hard.
It is okay if you feel as though you are falling behind in your schoolwork and missing out on your social life. These setbacks often are not as detrimental as they may seem, and you are by no means alone.
As best as you can, you should try to take these stretches of stress in stride and make the most of your days in spite of it.
We’re only in college once, and even then, our time at this university only lasts for a short while.
So why not try to enjoy it to the fullest?
Warmer days should be spent on the front lawn, soaking up the sun and enjoying the view of the beautiful Lehigh architecture. They should be spent on the grass on the South Side Greenway, throwing a frisbee back and forth with your friends. And they should be spent creating life-long memories with your roommates, classmates, friends and anyone else here you meet as you prepare to say goodbye for the next two months — or as you get ready for the next chapter of your life.
Just make sure you don’t forget to do your homework, too.