The Daily Northwestern

On a Budget: Tips for beating the midterm blues

This delicious popcorn will help you through your midterm slump.

This delicious popcorn will help you through your midterm slump.

Martina Barrera-Hernandez/The Current

Martina Barrera-Hernandez/The Current

This delicious popcorn will help you through your midterm slump.

Martina Barrera-Hernandez, Columnist

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After the honeymoon period during the first weeks of college comes and goes, life gets hard. Really hard. And really quickly.

I found myself needing some uninterrupted me-time — time to light a candle, to take a bubble bath armed with a cup of chai, to stick my hands in chocolate chip cookie dough or to snuggle up with my loving kitty.

But what do you do when all of your relaxation tricks don’t translate to college life? If I light a candle in my room, I’ll be the 1,000th person to set off the fire alarm, causing an evacuation and earning the wrath of my fellow Elderites, and if I take a bath in the girls bathroom bathtub, I’ll most certainly end up in quarantine. (Actually though, why do we have a bathtub?) Instead, I was forced to find new ways to clear my head. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Find the nearest park with a swing set (for those of us on North Campus, I recommend Independence Park a little way down Central Street; otherwise Philbrick Park on Sherman Avenue is a safe bet) and see how high you can go. Think of nothing else, and let the cold Evanston air pinch your cheeks and fly.
  • So maybe you can’t make cookies, but you can definitely make something equally as yummy and stress-free, with half as many ingredients and a microwave instead of an oven. For my treat, I grabbed the most readily available ingredients in my college pantry: popcorn, Oreos and chocolate. All you need to do is melt the chocolate, drizzle it over the popcorn and sprinkle on some crushed Oreo chunks. Let it set for about 10 minutes and then enjoy your cookies n’ cream popcorn during a homework break. Make sure you use unsalted, unbuttered popcorn — trust me, you’ll hate yourself if you do this with “theater-style” buttered popcorn.
  • Take a shamelessly long nap. Naps make everything better — enough said.
  • Have breakfast (or lunch or dinner) in bed. Maybe that sounds silly, but there is truly nothing better than taking the time to prepare a good breakfast for yourself instead of running out the door with a granola bar. Make some oatmeal, cut up a banana and put it in your yogurt or lather a bagel in honey and peanut butter. Wrap yourself in your comforter burrito style, curl up and enjoy! (Don’t forget to wear your most ridiculous socks!)
  • Go to YouTube and search “Baby owl enjoys being petted” by masterkiter89. You will never see anything more adorable in your entire life. I almost cried.
  • Make yourself a cup of tea and drink it while not doing homework — giving yourself time to breathe is most important. (As an alternative to smelling a candle, feel free to take a deep inhale from your tea. That’s not weird, right?)

No matter what you do to destress, the most important part is that you do something. We rarely put our homework aside and breathe for fear of losing 10 minutes of our not-nearly-long-enough day. Just remember: You’re worth it.