Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

Welcome to Liz’s Lemonade Stand, where the lemons of life are twisted into the sweetest lemonade.

Spring semester has sprung in a fantastically frosty fashion. This week, campus came back to life with the snapping energy of students relieved to be on their own again following the three-week holiday hiatus. Starting off second semester is definitely easier–the freshmen unknowns are essentially gone and moving back in felt less like a shot in the dark than it did settling back into routine. Let’s face it: being home is great, but when all of your stuff is away at school, it’s easy to feel like a guest in your own house. Get pumped for the return of chilly power walks across campus, crowded shuttles, doing your own laundry again, and peeling yourself out of bed before noon. Here are some tips for getting your semester started off on the right foot.

The Lemon: How do you do school again? I seem to have forgotten over break…

The Lemonade: To make the transition back to dorm life smoother, stock up on the necessities! 

Ask mom to take you to the grocery store; bulk shopping is worth it if you’re going to go through a lot of something anyway, like popcorn and toilet paper. We all know that even the largest bag of dried mango from Costco will only last so long, so if you want to continue having yummy treats at your disposal for the rest of the semester, you have two options. Either beg your family for frequent care packages, or simply enter our PijonBox contest!

Actually go to the “welcome back” activities put on by your school.

More often than not, this means free things for you. If there’s anything college has taught me, it’s that there is no shame in taking advantage of free.

Rather than sitting in your dorm on Netflix, get out and do stuff on campus.

The biggest mistake a few of my roommates made last semester was not getting involved. As a result, they frequently complained about the difficulty of meeting people. If your goal is to make this semester even better than last, tear yourself away from Netflix and join a club, go to a campus activity; utilize the perks of being a student (i.e., free admission to performances and sporting events with your student ID).

Try to avoid a caffeine overload.

For crying out loud, it’s the first week of classes! Save it for finals week. Perhaps I should heed my own advice on this subject. I typically start my day off with two large mugs of coffee. On Thursday, following my first class, I scampered over to the nearest campus café, craving a San Pellegrino lemonade. Alas, due to a contract switch from Coca Cola to Pepsi, San Pellegrino has vanished from the refrigerator. Disappointed but still thirsty, I did what any other person craving lemonade would do in this situation: I ordered a cappuccino. Thoroughly caffeinated and slightly dehydrated, I was absolutely wired for the better part of the day.

Improve roommate relations.

Maybe last semester you were one of those lucky people who hit it off immediately with your roommate(s), and good for you! If you and your roommate simply coexisted in the same space, make more of an effort to get to know each other. So far, it’s working for me and made this week at our apartment more fun than the entire first two months of school combined.Unfortunately, I also live with a roommate who only seems to get even more annoying as time goes on.

In this situation, you really just have to do your best to make the most of it.

Get excited about your classes!

The best way to enjoy the semester is to find something you like about each class. Bask in knowledge of knowing that at this stage in your life, you get to learn new things all day! So maybe your math class is insultingly easy but a requirement nonetheless; hone your doodling skills or sneakily read a book. Be enthusiastic about the courses you’re shelling out thousands for because attitude is everything. Happy spring semester!

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the author

Liz Winters is a freshman at Utah State University. She graduated from high school as a full IB Diploma Candidate. Now a member of USU's cross country and track teams, she is as busy and happy as ever. When she’s not running around her college town of Logan, Utah or up a mountain, chances are pretty good she’s either eating peanut butter or playing the flute. You’ll never catch Liz without her water bottle, though she is quite the tea and coffee aficionado (fair trade certified preferred!). Liz has a terminal case of wanderlust, fueled by plans to minor in French. A granola girl at heart, she's planning on majoring in Conservation and Restoration Ecology. Sustainability has blossomed into passion for the planet, and this translates into a love for learning and spreading the sustainable spirit. Liz still doesn't know what she wants to do when she "grows up," but that's just fine because the adventure is all in the journey!

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