It's no secret that school can be stressful, especially during testing season. While many try to just “get through it” by cramming for hours at a time, limiting social interaction, and relying on caffeine, these methods are unhealthy and lead to burnout.
On the other hand, taking the time to slow down and add whimsy to your everyday routine can boost your mood and increase your productivity almost immediately. Here is a breakdown of how to romanticize school and make every day seem exciting, even during midterms or finals.
Make class count
Romanticizing school begins with a mindset shift: you have to make yourself believe that each class is something to look forward to. It can be tempting to slack off during class and catch up on your work at home – however, doing so means you need to put extra effort into understanding the material, and you miss out on getting to ask your teacher to explain concepts you might not understand. You can implement small changes into your school routine to motivate yourself to focus during class. This might mean a number of things:
- Bringing a favorite beverage in a sealed container (just make sure it's okay with your teacher)
- Sitting next to someone you enjoy working with
- Challenging yourself to ask at least one question after each lesson
It's also a good idea to build a personal relationship with each of your teachers. The more you get to know them, the more you'll look forward to attending class every day. You can do this by asking them about their weekend, talking about a shared interest, or staying after class to clear up any questions you have about the material.
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Dress the part
One of the easiest ways to romanticize school is to adopt a preppy aesthetic. Take Rory Gilmore, for example –– while she's certainly a controversial character, no one can deny that her outfits are always on point. Even if you don't want to change up your wardrobe completely, adding a dash of preppy professionalism to your look can make you look forward to school every day. This can include:
- An oversized collared shirt and a pleated skirt
- Jeans and a cardigan
- A cable knit sweater dress and combat boots
- A sweater vest over a polo shirt
- Seersucker shorts for warmer days
- Accessories like headbands and knee socks
The possibilities are endless! Just make sure to wear what makes you feel comfortable and ready to learn.
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Aestheticize your notes
While readability and functionality are the most important aspects of notes, taking the time to make them aesthetically pleasing can transform the way you feel about studying. One of the best ways to do this is to add to what you already have. If you like taking notes by hand, use highlighters and felt-tip pens to decorate your notebook. Make sure your color scheme is unified and consistent –– for example if you're using pastels for your history notes, you might highlight important dates in sky blue and main ideas in lemon yellow.
You can even do this with notes typed out into a doc! My personal go-to is Notability, where I can maintain a unified aesthetic throughout my notes simply by copying and pasting. Notability also comes with themed stickers, and many users create their own, which you can access through the gallery.
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Have fun with friends
A great way to romanticize studying is to do it with your friends. When you're studying in a group setting, you can quiz each other using flashcards, read the textbook out loud in different voices (this is especially fun with history), or compete on Quizlet Match to see who gets the fastest flashcard-matching time. Some additional study activities to do with your friends include:
- Whiteboarding out a lesson
- Creating mnemonic devices
- Taking turns explaining concepts to each other
It's important to remember to set clear boundaries while you're with your friends. Don't let lunchtime conversations carry over into your study sessions. And when you're just hanging out, try to steer conversations away from class.
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Revamp your study space
Romanticizing school doesn't have to end the moment the final bell rings. You can keep the streak going by turning your study space into a cozy, welcoming environment. This can range from putting up string lights to redecorating your room completely. Other ideas include:
- Putting up wall decor that reflects what brings you joy
- Putting a cushion on your desk chair
- Arranging stationery and decor on your desk
- Adding a source of yellow light
If you tend to study in a public setting, such as a library or café, you can create a kit filled with supplies, stationery essentials, and fun knickknacks to create a portable study experience.
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Get pumped up with a playlist
What’s a new outlook on school without a playlist to match? Music is one of the best ways to make the shift from dreading school to romanticizing it. My personal favorite is Spotify’s vellichor playlist. To find a school mix that’s just right for you, scroll through dark academia, lofi, and classical music playlists and add your favorites to your own.
Making small changes to your life to romanticize school and studying is easy, fun, and will motivate you to to learn more and stay productive. Good luck with your upcoming tests! You've got this!