Mustang News File Photo | Just because it's spring quarter doesn't mean you can check out of school yet.

Sam Gilbert

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The worst is over, Cal Poly. The extra units, the stormy nights (good one — it rained maybe once over the course of the entire 10 weeks) and closed Recreation Center pool — they’re officially over.

Blue skies are ahead, literally. Spring quarter, welcome back into our lives.

Now that a solid percentage of the Cal Poly population is bronzed and back from a week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, it’s easy to get caught up in the social festivities this blessed quarter never fails to offer. From music festivals to beach days, it often comes as a shock that this time of the year also includes that cursed “s” word: studying.

With only 10 weeks until summer vacation, it’s important to live it up while staying on top of schoolwork. Apparently, finding that balance is the point of college. Here are some tips to have the best of both worlds.

Make a to-do list

Sure, it sounds like a tip from Total Sorority Move, but those girls know what they’re talking about. According to the List Producer, there are health benefits to making a list. Organizing goals reduces anxiety, improves focus and boosts self-esteem when a task is accomplished and an item is crossed off the list.

Do the worst first

Her Campus makes the valid point that it’s a lot easier to fit smaller assignments in on the weekends between highly-anticipated events rather than a larger, more time-consuming assignment. This is another example of why it’s a good idea to make a list. Make the worst assignment the first priority so there’s time to have fun.

Study in the sun

If work doesn’t require a laptop, study while laying in the sun. Bringing a history book to Avila Beach will keep up that spring break tan while maintaining peace of mind, since homework is actually getting done. The key is to actually be productive and read the book, though.

Treat yourself

FastWeb points out “school isn’t about all work and no play.”


Especially during one of San Luis Obispo’s finest seasons, it’s important to take some time to soak it all in. Some suggestions for study breaks could be going to Starbucks to get one of their Refreshers drinks, hiking Bishop Peak or taking a drive to the beach. A personal suggestion would be to go get a smoothie at Joe Momma’s Coffee in Avila Beach. Just saying.

Work out

It’s a known fact the anticipation of an exam or classes induces stress. It’s also known that exercise reduces stress. Especially in the context of spring quarter, being in the sun and soaking in Vitamin D while exercising adds to the beautiful weather while getting rid of school-related anxiety.

Envision success

This sounds lame, but remembering your ultimate goal actually serves as a great motivator. Whether it’s getting a new job to add to the résumé, receiving an A in a class or graduating in four years, picturing the end result serves as a successful mechanism to decipher when it’s time for work or play.

Spring quarter comes with benefits, but it’s important to remember the lesson winter quarter taught us: Stay motivated.

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