Stay motivated by romanticizing your life as a college student

Illustration of a girl listening to music
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Congratulations! You’ve made it through your first week back on campus! As one of the top universities in the country, it’s no surprise that the academic environment at UC Berkeley can be extremely demanding. By now, you’ve probably had the chance to look over those daunting syllabi and take your first lecture notes, but are you ready for the whirlwind of problem sets, midterms and essay deadlines hurdling your way?

Typically, at the start of a new semester, our spirits are high and we adamantly vow to stick to the academic goals we envision in our heads. Yet, we gradually grow disillusioned with schoolwork — either choosing to slack off or allow the frustration to consume us and turn us into negative people. While effective study strategies will certainly help prevent feelings of burnout, another way to stay on top of your game this semester is by romanticizing your life as a college student. When you romanticize your life, you transform into the main character of a movie, thereby turning every detail and aspect of your day-to-day routine into something of artistic and cinematic value. Here are a few tips to help you get started!

Emulate your favorite academically-inclined book or television series character

Do you have a character who you can look up to as a source of academic inspiration? That one whose whole personality revolves around their superhuman focus and academic prowess? If not, go find one! My personal favorites are Rory Gilmore from the television series Gilmore Girls and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. Both characters’ passion for learning is palpable. Their late nights spent in the library reading, taking notes or reteaching concepts to their peers reflects their admirable zeal for all things related to school. To romanticize your academic life, put yourselves in the shoes of your favorite academically-inclined character and act like them throughout the day.

Invest in nice school supplies

There’s something about sturdy leather-bound notebooks, cute pencil pouches, well-designed planners and gel pens and smudge-proof highlighters in a variety of colors that make you excited to do schoolwork. Taking notes, planning out your day and grinding through study sessions seem like less of a chore when you have nice and aesthetically appealing school supplies to aid you. Think about it — would the main character be taking notes on a wrinkled piece of loose-leaf paper with a chewed up pencil? Probably not, so go ahead and invest in your school supply arsenal!

Make a vision board for your academic aesthetic

Vision boards, also known as mood boards, are a great way to get inspiration for all aspects of your life. Pinterest, the ultimate social media site for creating vision boards, allows users to create and share their own vision board ideas, which can encapsulate basically anything and everything. Another way to romanticize your life as a college student is by emulating a specific academic aesthetic. If you don’t know where to start, check out some Pinterest boards for popular aesthetics such as dark academia, light academia or chic academia. Once you’ve chosen your aesthetic, use websites such as Pinterest and Tumblr to create your own board with personally picked visuals so that you’re inspired to cultivate your image in line with your chosen aesthetic! Whenever you’re feeling bogged down or overwhelmed by school, simply add to or look at your vision board to soothe your mind and remotivate you.

Study at cute cafes 

Make your study sessions a time to look forward to by choosing a cozy corner at your favorite local coffee shop with a steaming mug of coffee or tea in hand, where you can review your lecture notes and complete your readings. As the fall and winter months approach, the vibe will be extra romantic as you work under the soft warm glow of overhead lights, looking out at the foggy, cold streets from the window as you sip a warm beverage. The ambiance of most cafes — which includes the smell of coffee, din of chatter, clicking of keyboards and visible focus of other students around you — adds charm to the act of studying.

Create playlists for your walks to class

Campus is huge, so chances are that if you have any in-person classes this semester, you’re doing a lot of walking. To make your daily commute less tedious and tiresome, create playlists for your walks to class. The music you listen to before class will influence your mood and how you conduct yourself when you walk through the lecture hall doors. Depending on whether you want to feel upbeat and energetic or mellow and tranquil, your playlists are totally personable to you and your music taste! Think of it as the background music or soundtrack to the movie of your life!

With these tips to help get you started, we at the Clog hope romanticizing your life as a student will get you feeling more excited to tackle the semester ahead!

Contact Madeleine Lorie at [email protected].