It’s the spring semester, and whether you’re on campus or not, the onset of classes brings a sort of schedule to the week and some variety as compared to winter or even the last semester. I know that I’ve felt some more variety for the first time in almost a year, since this is my first time being extensively back on campus since last March, when I had to move out of Redding! Still, with many classes relegated to your room and the overall year of quarantine that we have gone through and continue to go through, it can feel like we’ve been repeating the same week over and over or are beginning to go into that cycle. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to add some variety to life that can also help you keep tabs on the days.

I was inspired to write this article for two reasons, the first of which being an event that was held in my Residence Hall, Independence, on the first day of classes. We were able to go down to the lounge that night and, while maintaining social distancing, grab a small pot, fill it with dirt, and plant some seeds in it. This is my first time taking care of a plant (if you don’t count science classes in middle and high school), and watching Pharbara’s progressive growth has been great! And yes, my plant’s name is an extended reference to Phoebe Bridgers. The first week there was little growth, but since then four sprouts have popped up and continue to rise. Watching as it grows and making sure I’m watering it as its soil becomes dry has been a nice little daily activity that keeps things fresh and a little bit exciting.

The second thing that inspired me to write about this was an app called Cappuccino. It’s an app where you and friends can record small, 3-minute audio clips just saying whatever, and the next day starting at 8am you can listen to all the recorded clips as if they’re a podcast. It’s a nice daily activity to do, and gives you something to listen to between classes. Another aspect of it is that members of your group can provide prompts, so you can have each “episode” be different and about a particular topic like movies, a funny story, anything! It really gives you something to look forward to in the morning and in your free time, and lets you learn stuff about your friends and talk about it with them after.

Another interesting way to add variety to your day or week is to set a goal of just doing a particular thing each week or day. Whether that be journaling, writing, watching a movie, watching a show, or listening to an album, that added variety can be great. While I don’t necessarily have a set amount of albums I try to listen to per day, week, or month, I love keeping track of every album I listen to and when I listen to it and giving each one a rating. I started doing this my first day at UD, and it’s great seeing artists I’ve discovered over time or seeing at what point in my year I first listened to a particular album. It’s also great to keep track of it all and compile it at the end of the year, to see how much you got done over the course of the year. Added onto that, you could find a game or something similar with daily things you can do, such as in Animal Crossing, to add some more you can do in your day for your own enjoyment.

There are many ways to add variety to your schedule and to reduce monotony in day-to-day pandemic life, and tailoring them to your interests or friends is one of the best ways to do so while still keeping yourself focused on the work you want to do each day.

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