With the most recent winter storms and two snow days in the past week, it is difficult to see that the season of spring has begun. This past Tuesday, March 20, marked the first day of spring for 2018. This important date for lovers of warm weather indicates that soon clear skies and warm rays of sunshine will cast upon the Jersey Shore.
Going to school one mile from the coastline and for many Monmouth University students, living even closer to it, the beach is much more appealing on these spring weather days than the classroom. As the weather improves it becomes more difficult to keep grades rising with the temperatures. Allowing time to enjoy the weather and do homework, routine, and self-care can be essential to staying focused on school and avoiding spring fever.
The nearby town of Long Branch grants one of the nicest luxuries for exercise. The newly refinished boardwalk along the coast provides a long, flat strip for runners and walkers to take in springtime on the shore. Students within walking distance can gain access to the boardwalk in Long Branch between Brighton Avenue and Laird Street. Those that wish to drive to the path can find head- in parking on Brighton Avenue or street parking on any of the streets stretching North to Pier Village. Political science associate professor and faculty advisor to the Monmouth University Debate Hawks Joe Patten shares his experiences running outside in the springtime in his hometown of Howell, NJ. “Going for a run while listening to music is always the favorite part of my day. It is especially great when I run the loop in the wooded area of the Manasquan Reservoir in Howell. Sometimes I get a special treat of running up on a family of deer or an especially bright red cardinal. Running to music also chases away any toxic stressors that might come my way and keeps me energized and in a positive frame of mind,” he said.
Allowing oneself time during a nice day to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of spring makes it easier to focus when it is time to return to studying indoors. When feeling trapped inside with schoolwork, looking for an energetic way to jumpstart your morning or close out a long day of classes, the Long Branch boardwalk is a great way to enjoy the warm weather and refocus on the final weeks of the semester.
Spring fever makes it difficult to end a warm day and say goodnight to the beautiful weather. In addition, many students may find it difficult to wake up for class when the thoughts of summer are nearing closer. Senior social work student, Nicole Giordano, gave her input on the topic: “I try to set an alarm and have a regular wake up time even on weekends and my days off, so I’m always motivated to get up and start my day,” she said. Maintaining a regular sleeping schedule is essential to focus on the day’s tasks.
Even though it may be difficult at first to get on a regular schedule of going to bed and waking up, once the sleep rhythm is aligned students can find time in each day to enjoy the outdoors and allow enough time for classes, homework, and studying. Routine enables students to be in control of their schedule and do things they enjoy, while also completing the mundane tasks of being a student.
As the semester nears to a close and the sound of tests, readings, and assignments begin to irritate students they become more susceptible to spring fever. Taking time to relax, refocus, and recharge can help students feel more prepared to conquer their schoolwork. Senior political science and sociology student, Liz Carmines, shared what she does to help herself. Carmine said that she “takes a few minutes to [herself] to relax in the sun, in order to get back into a school mindset.” Techniques such as mindful meditation can be beneficial for students to ease the stress of the school day. In addition, taking advantage of the warm sunshine at the beach can be therapeutic for students to build a resistance to spring fever and finish the end of the semester with their strongest mindsets.
As the semester nears to a close Monmouth University students are going to feel their desires of warmth and sunshine pulling them outdoors and away from their textbooks. Although it is not time to tune out school yet, these techniques can help to both enjoy the weather and earn above average grades at the end of the school year.
PHOTO COURTESY of Cassandra Capozzi-Smith
PHOTO TAKEN by Campbell Lee