Since the chances you actually clean your dorm room are slim to none, perhaps it’s time to consider a new form of spring cleaning – spring cleansing. For those of us whose high school friends are already home (almost everyone), a social media cleanse can be very beneficial. The Snapchats and Instagrams of your favorite restaurants, drinks by the pool and your friends happily reuniting will only make studying for that sixth set of midterms even more difficult.
The quarter system has its pros and cons. Pro: You only have to deal with that terrible professor for ten weeks. Con: For five of those weeks, your high school friends will already be stress-free and enjoying their summers.
Come mid-May, most universities are on summer break. By now, your newsfeed is most likely slowly beginning to fill up with your high school friends’ summer 2014 photo albums. Despite your undying love for the 50 degree spring days in Evanston, it’s difficult to remain focused on campus life while knowing the majority of your friends have already begun enjoying their summers together.
This mentality can take a toll on your final weeks here. Rather than letting this last month – when you should be enjoying the lake fill, Mayfest and occasional sunshine – be filled with thoughts of home, remove yourself from the constant feed of FOMO-inducing photos.
One of the easiest and most essential components of the social media cleanse is to keep procrastinatory Facebook stalking limited to Northwestern friends only. Though it’s tempting to check what your friends at home are up to in their oceans of free time, it will only make you resent studying more. If you’re questioning your willpower, stay off of Facebook altogether. Have friends keep you updated on event invitations and say goodbye to Messenger. If people don’t have your number to text you, do you really want to be talking to them anyway? Though you may initially experience some symptoms of withdrawal, taking a break from Facebook is healthy, and now is the perfect time to do so. Also, try minimizing the number of times you check Instagram in a given day and resisting the urge to check Snapchat stories.
If you simply can’t sit in Periodicals without an occasional distraction, there are plenty of social media substitutes. Instead of scrolling through your news feed, try looking at Buzzfeed. While most of the content is mindless entertainment, their recent incorporation of news might lead you to some interesting articles. If looking at pictures of delicious food is a must, consider looking at Foodgawker rather than Instagram. You might also use this as an opportunity to change up your Twitter feed. Start following news organizations and celebrities to dilute the amount of summer related Tweets from high school friends.
A springtime social media cleanse can help you stay focused on schoolwork and school friends, rather than longing for summer. With less than three weeks left of class, make the most of your time here, instead of wasting it wishing you were home. Before you know it, you’ll be joining your friends at home, counting down the days until move in.