Pillbox

Spring ideas

Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski | Assistant Photo Editor & Kristen Severson | Photo Editor

It has once again started out as a very Pittsburgh spring: a few really nice days of warm weather, bringing with it flip flops forsaken since the fall, computer science majors in their Hawaiian shirts, and people spreading out to do work all over the Cut. However, the warm bliss quickly seemed to draw to a close when a few days of cold rain set in, dampening the campus and making the journey from building to building a soggy, unpleasant trudge.

Now, with colder days ahead, it seems like spring is out of reach already. Though there’s not too much to do about the weather, some of these tips might help you feel more in the mood for warmer days, regardless of the chilly forecast.

Fashion: Add a little mimosa to your life

Time to break out of those heavy winter clothes and start reinventing your wardrobe for the spring season! The color of the year 2009 has been declared as mimosa, a sprightly yellow with hints of goldenrod. Mimosa was selected by Pantone, Inc., a company that specializes in producing inks and paints both for graphic artists and for publishing companies.

Mimosa, a bright, happy color, reflects the optimism that people have about the future and the hope that things will improve, whether it’s getting the economy back on track, planting a garden that actually sprouts and produces fruit or vegetables this year, or just becoming healthier in the new season. Spring is the time to start afresh and mimosa’s bright, warm hues reflect its wearer’s cheery outlook toward the future.

General suggestions are to pair mimosa with sky blues or with neutral grays or mushroom colors. Thus, you can create a happy but urban style, bound to be chic. Another upcoming trend seems to be wearing clothes more from bargain stores rather than from designers. While this is good for your wallet, be careful. You don’t want to completely compromise quality.

Going to the Avalon Exchange in Squirrel Hill will hook you up with some trendy vintage fashion at reasonable prices, sure to be a hit this spring.

Spring cleaning: It’s that time of year again

While not everyone relishes the thought of going through their rooms and fishing out all the stuff that winter and fall left behind, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore that you avoid stoically. Start small, like cleaning up a desktop or a drawer, and then be sure to give yourself a break. You don’t need to be a whirlwind of cleaning goodness, sweeping through every nook and cranny of your dorm or apartment. What needs to happen is that you feel like you can start the new season fresh and ready to tackle any obstacles that come your way.

Go through your closet and look at what clothes you wear a lot and what has been left by the wayside. First, try to reuse the items that you really love or have loved, but have fallen out of your daily wear. In the economy’s current state, you might not be able to buy new clothes, but you can rework older clothes into your outfit by adding fresh new splashes of color, like a trendy scarf or a cute accessory to snap it up. Those clothes that you’re not so fond of anymore but are still in good shape can be donated to a charity or shelter. Since donations are down, the recipient of your old threads will surely appreciate your gesture.

Sometimes, all a messy area really needs is a good bit of reorganizing. If you haven’t been using your space as effectively as you want to, then look into some cheap methods of storage. Buying shelves can be a little pricey, but Bed, Bath & Beyond or IKEA will usually carry some storage devices that fall within your budget. Also, be sure to use shelf space already in your room. Ledges by windows can be ready-made shelves, as well as a neat display for your knickknacks.

If you have an item that might be valuable but you don’t have the space or need for it, try selling it on eBay or Craigslist. It’ll get the clutter out of your room and put money back in your wallet, two things that are great to start out spring with.

Time management: Daylight savings got you down?

The leap forward is always hard on everybody. Waking up one hour earlier seems like a rip-off at first, even if it does leave more time in the sun later on in the season. With more midterms, papers due, and finals to prepare for as the final stretch of the spring 2009 semester begins to draw to a close, time is at a premium and sleep suffers. Use these tips to help plan the day more effectively and save up for some quality time with your pillow.

First, start off by making a list. It doesn’t have to be a list of every single thing that needs to get done in your life, but it should have some goals that you’d like to accomplish. What also works well if you’re feeling the crunch is to write a list of all the projects, assignments, or tests that are stressing you out. Get everything out and onto the paper, even if it’s something that should be enjoyable but is causing you to worry about it, like preparing a presentation for your favorite club or an upcoming sports match.

Next, start preparing. Budget your time over the next week and look at how you’ll have to allot your time and effort to make everything work. If your schedule starts looking too hectic, then prioritize. You don’t have to do everything, especially not when it’s interfering with your schoolwork or stressing you out. Plan for tests about a week and a half in advance and try to look over homework assignments, readings, or papers, a week before they come due. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what you’ll need to accomplish by the end of the week’s time. What’s great is that your brain will be working on them even while you’re not as your subconscious goes over things you’ve seen or encountered. It’s like multi-tasking without the effort: just let your sleeping brain do the work!

Set out times to actually do what you’ve planned. Making a big schedule and putting things in order isn’t of any use if you don’t actually do it. If your homework is looking to be a bit much, then start a study group. With finals on the horizon, it’s never too late to get together with a bunch of classmates and try to boost your grades before the last exams start. Give yourself rewards for getting things done on time, like an hour solely devoted to Facebook or a night out catching the newest movies.

You shouldn’t spend every waking moment working, though. Getting everything done that you want to accomplish (and see as reasonable to accomplish within your time frame) is a great feeling, but don’t feel like you need to overwork yourself to stay on top of the crowd. While everyone usually touts all-nighters as helping them through difficult subjects or essays, staying up all through the night usually just leaves you tired and less likely to understand things the next day, leaving you needing to catch up the next day. Eight hours of sleep is recommended, but for young adults, the amount of time needed is usually more: around nine to 10. The extra hours of sleep you get contribute to how creative and responsive you’ll be the next day.

If you’re still having trouble getting everything done, ask yourself when you’re at your most productive. If that happens to be in the evening, hyped up on a few shots of espresso from the library, then go for that. If you, like most people, get tired and find that you can’t work as well late at night, consider going to bed earlier, getting your sleep, and then waking up earlier. Most people aren’t awake by then, so the dorms and apartments are fairly quiet. You can work in peace and feel motivated to get your work done instead of falling prey to the numerous distractions of the Internet late at night.

Whatever your reason, spring is the time to get out there and start changing things around for the better. Start spicing up your closet, enjoy the weather soon to come (but come prepared with an umbrella!), and get ready to budget your time for Buggy and Carnival. This year promises to be a fun one, so get out there and start making spring work for you.