Managing the Mundanity of March


Tips and tricks on combatting the lethargy before exam season

In managing the hierarchies of “hard times of the year,” people usually assume February is the worst time of the year. It has the fewest holidays, it comes right after New Year’s and all the holiday festivities, and the March Break is so far into the future that every day after February 1 is the real slough month. There is probably some truth to all of this, despite being the shortest month out of the year. However, it is not February that is the worst month, it is instead, March. This month we can’t decide whether its winter or spring, or both! 

At the end of February the snow was almost gone, it felt like spring was coming and then we got dumped on and we’re back under a crusty layer of snow & ice until the sun comes out in the next few days to partially melt it all down and reveal the gritty, gray, broken streets filled with potholes?

So, what do you do to combat how dumb March is?

One - Do yourself a favour and check out some of the amazing community artwork at StFX and in Antigonish. The art gallery in Bloomfield is always changing their artwork and you never know (unless you read their schedule) what they’ll bring next. Did you know that all the artwork found on campus is owned by the university? There’s also the new McNeil gallery in Schwartz. Why not check out both? Or even the town library.

Two - Get out of town, even for a little bit. Being in town while the snow melts on a grey day can really suck the life out of you. Getting just a little time outside of Antigonish there’s still wonderful picturesque landscapes that you can see or walk through. Sure, Mahoney’s beach at this time of year is probably chilly and bracing, but there’s lots of other places to check out. Point George has some lovely cliffs, Tatamagouche has a great brewery and a really eclectic antique store.

Three - Go to the library. The Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library is an incredible  resource and a great place to relax quietly for a couple hours. Plenty of comfortable seating, a quiet atmosphere, and lots of magazines to check out, all free of charge. Even better, your library card can be used online to check out ebooks if you really can’t leave the house but want something new to read.

Four - Try out something new such as learning a skill or  language. It doesn’t have to be something that you commit to for the rest of your life, but something you spend a little bit of time trying out and learning about. There are plenty of opportunities in Antigonish to explore knitting and stitching, language classes, art and other craft skills. All you need to do is show up and prepare to  participate.

Five - Perhaps you’ve bottomed out on PUBG or Fortnite and another shooter isn’t really your thing. Try some classic NES, SNES, Genesis, NeoGeo, and many other games through an emulator like OpenEmu for macOS. Your friends never shut up about how great Chrono Trigger was? Now is your chance. Maybe try a farming simulator, like Stardew Valley and get lost trying to maximize your yield by strategically placing sprinklers and scarecrows all while trying to woo the local cutie.

Six - Meet some friends for some board games. Everyone knows someone who owns a board game or two. Get some friends together and find out whom among your group is the competitive one while playing classic games like, Catan, Monopoly, or maybe some newer ones like Scythe or Exploding Kittens. Another option is heading over to Lost Realms, where they have a great variety of games from the simple and quick to the complex and time-consuming.

Regardless of what you do over March, try something different and out of the ordinary. For most people, it’s the routine that gets them and even though the routine disappears over the break, not having goals or plans in place makes the time slip away and can leave you feeling purposeless when you return to class. 

So, make sure to make a change, avoid the Netflix binge, book your week off with some new activities with friends, and be purposeful with your time.