Sometimes when we start something new we need to change things in our immediate environment as well. While I am still waiting for final marks and my application to graduate to work its way through the system, I was struck with the notion that the study-space I previously loved needed a facelift. Not because it was not functional (it was?very,) but because I needed something that would symbolize a new beginning.
The room I had taken over for studying is not very big. And there is a lot of furniture squished into it which makes rearranging a little more difficult. But with a little (or a lot) of cursing and effort I was able to make some changes. I had to empty a few bookshelves, one to get a no-longer-needed-chair out the door, and one because I was moving it clear across the room (and I didn’t think it would make the few feet with the weight of the books). I was also able to re-fluff the dog bed which has already been taken over by one of my monsters.
There is something about rearranging a few things that makes everything feel, well, right. I also went through this part way through studying. It felt amazing to have an organized space?even if it didn’t last long. I am sure there is some technical reason why this is, perhaps it triggers something in the brain to signify work, relaxation, or simply a desire to be in the room. Now I can sit and stare out my window without having to turn away from my screen. It’s a distraction that would not have been well suited to a few of the courses I decided to take.
I have found when I get into a slump, or feel that I need to decompress, the best way to do it is to rearrange my immediate environment. Making a few changes can make it more enjoyable to be in, and the act of physically moving things can sometimes be all a person needs to recharge their mind. I found this as I studied and changed things around, and I also found it now. As my degree is coming to a close I needed to re-energize myself to a new pace and style of work. I also needed something to help signify the close of a chapter and beginning anew. Before, when I sat at my desk, I found my mind constantly wandering back to studying (was there something I was forgetting to do? An assignment that should be getting my attention instead?) While, of course, there wasn’t, my mind was constantly in that mode. I had trained myself, though unconsciously, to get into the mode of work as soon as I sat at the desk. So now, I need to retrain myself, trigger myself, to get creative when I sit at my new work space.
Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature