Every year around this time, I feel the need for change. The need to push out the old and make way for the new. Spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to the worn-out shirt in the back of the closet or the faded pair of jeans I no longer wear; I take spring cleaning as a wholesome cleanse that applies to all areas of my life. I spring clean my closet, my room, my technology, and even my “friends.”
Being a student, I associate spring time with the end of a school year, with summer representing a fresh start. I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t like anyone or anything getting in the way of my good mojo come summer time, so every spring, I do five things:
1. I reflect
Around this time, I feel a lot of personal growth happening and I like to reflect on where I am in the present moment. I like to think of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year and how my progress has been towards achieving them. I think about how I have changed as a person, if I like who I am, or what things might need to change to make me feel more connected with my goals. Then I make a list of things to improve upon and set a plan of action to make them happen. I’ve made goals to procrastinate less, reduce Netflix watching, or even spend more time outside to improve my health and overall well being.
2. I clean
This is where I put my hair up and set the volume on high because I go ahead and throw away anything that no longer serves any real purpose to me. I donate clothes, throw away old trinkets, and recycle paperwork that is just taking up empty space in my room. If it doesn’t contribute to my being and how I feel on the inside, it goes straight to the trash! The same system applies to my phone and computer. I go through and delete old files and Power Points, I remove hundreds of pictures that are taking up space, and I delete the apps I never even opened, but just found cool to download. This way I remove unnecessary things from my daily life and make way for new things to come in.
3. I remove
When I say remove, I mean let go of people around me who have either grown apart from me or perhaps drifted away. It does not mean I got bored of someone, or had a fight and I simply decided to look the other way. It means maybe there was a lack of effort put in from both sides, or interests changed and the deep connection that once was diminished. The biggest example of this is the experience I had freshman year. I had old friends that I made before college that I thought were going to be there for me no matter what. Sadly as college started, our tight knit group began to drift apart and I slowly realized that it was better to end the ties of friendship that we once all shared. It was definitely the toughest type of cleaning I ever had to do, but also the most rewarding. If you are brave enough to be honest with yourself and realize who your true friends are, your life will be filled with a sudden burst of peace and positivity that cannot be compared to anything else!
4. I connect and reconnect
This is a ritual I love to upkeep because it grounds me and reminds me that strong bonds never die. What I do is think back to a friend I made the previous semester or even before, and set a time to get lunch or study with them. I can say this is something I have definitely done more lately since I am almost graduating and I’ve been trying to make the most of my final days in college. I simply ask one friend at a time to meet up and I make it a priority to meet up with old friends who I always said I would meet, but never quite got the time to. The simple act of re-introducing someone into your life can change the whole dynamic of it and bring about new adventures. On the flip side, I also enforce the ritual of making one new friend during the spring/summer,because new friends shouldn’t just be made at the beginning of a new year. It is always a great time to be kind to a stranger and watch a friendship grow from one small act of kindness.
5. I enjoy
After all aspects of myself have gone through a deep cleanse, I sit back (hopefully in a hammock) and enjoy the sunny weather with a good read in one hand and a fruity drink in the other. Watching flowers bloom and hearing birds sing is all part of the enticing experience that makes the new me feel that much more liberated and ready to spread positivity to those around me. After all, you can really only help others after you help yourself.