Editor’s Note


Spring is on the horizon.

Article Image

Image by Bernard Spragg

By Emily Warner

We’ve reached that point in term, when motivation is waning almost as fast as my student loan. Going to lectures feels strikingly similar to being Sisyphus, in hell, rolling his boulder uphill for eternity. There’s the reading, then the more reading, the essays, the assessments and the caffeinated stints in the library. Every week I receive a depressing email, reminding me about the stack of books I barely remember taking out and definitely haven’t read. I have to entice myself to 9ams with snacks and the promise of a power nap, and scrolling through Instagram reels is bordering on obsession.

Luckily, spring is on the horizon. A few welcome snowdrops are appearing on campus and I’ve started walking home in daylight. Yesterday, I joined a couple of students watching some baby rabbits (and who can feel miserable when there are baby rabbits?). The holidays are in sight and that means losing the hat and scarf, peeling off the thermal layers and cracking open an Easter egg.

In some desperate attempt to reduce my stress and focus on the world around me, I decided to channel a thirty-something YouTube yoga instructor and ‘be more present’. This may just be an excuse to ignore the work I have due tomorrow, but there’s something to be said for paying attention to the now. We perpetually live in the present; the past has passed, and the future is uncertain, so our only power lies in the current moment. However, so often our minds live elsewhere, thinking about next week or three years ago or someone else’s life. This isn’t entirely our fault.

I recently swapped my Android for an iPhone (aka. I joined the dark side) and was shocked by the colossal number of notifications I receive each day - about 350 on average. How are we supposed to be present, when 350 distractions are pinging their way into our hands every day? Plus, we’ll probably all have a neck problem in the future, walking around with our head fixed at a 90 degree angle like some kind of satirical cartoon.

To an extent, social media is essential. We need it for socialising, marketing, learning and sharing; however, it creates so much noise that sometimes it’s difficult to hear ourselves think. So, my advice is not to try and cut out that buzz of pings, vibrations (maybe the Star Wars theme tune if that’s your ringtone; you do you). Instead, prioritise making connections with something other than the screen.

Make the connection between pen and paper and sit down to write. Feel the warmth of a cup of tea seeping into your hands. Go to a yoga class and pay attention to the ground beneath you and the way your body interacts with it. Give someone a hug. Or give yourself a hug. Sit down in the shower (not for too long though, we are in a cost-of-living crisis and your landlord might hunt you down). Run for joy, not because your Fitbit is telling you that you’re lazy. And yes, check your phone from time to time. With so many other meaningful interactions, this won’t feel so consuming, so overwhelming or so vital. Those hundreds of notifications can pass by, unread, and you’ll have time to see the baby rabbits too.