Springing forward: The Hiller’s guide to welcoming warmer weather


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Even if you don’t have a particularly green thumb, gardening is a great stress reliever. Home gardens can take on many shapes and sizes, so take some time to research what methods work best for you!

It’s officially the time of year where seasonal allergies are running wild and AP students are studying hard for those end-of-year exams. Do you know what that means? It’s spring, Hillers! March 20 marks the official beginning of the new season, and The Hiller staff has some tips for leaving winter behind and starting fresh this month.

First and foremost, let’s get “spring cleaning” out of the way. There’s a reason why you hear this phrase so often; it truly is the best way to ditch disorganization after being trapped inside for months. It’s easiest to start small by donating old clothes, reorganizing drawers, dusting flat surfaces and clearing clutter from a desk or nightstand. Making changes to your decorations can also help to brighten your mood in a new season. Whether you decide to completely reorganize your furniture or just add some new wall art, a change of scenery is always great to revive a space after a long winter. 

While spring cleaning usually applies to bedrooms and kitchens, deep cleaning phones is just as important. Clear the spam emails from those companies that gave you 10% off for signing up, delete those old screenshots from your camera roll and reorganize your apps to avoid the endless search for the calculator. We all use our phones for countless tasks throughout the day, so things like a new wallpaper or phone case can help to freshen up your experience.

Spring is a time of new growth, so now is the perfect time to create some good habits. As hard as it may be, limiting screen time is the easiest way to increase productivity and decrease stress levels. Try to swap scrolling on Tiktok for reading a book, walking your dog, baking cookies or planting a garden (keep reading for some inspiration!). If you can’t commit to that level of change, simple self-care tasks like drinking enough water and sleeping for eight hours per night are a great place to start. Be sure to hold yourself accountable for these habits and reward all of the hard work that it takes to keep them. 

As the weather gets warmer, try to get outside! Sunshine is a natural mood booster that many people lack during the winter. Local spots such as Ohiopyle State Park and Coopers Rock State Forest are perfect for an entire day trip. Many trails at these locations are both pedestrian and biker-friendly with varying degrees of difficulty. If that kind of activity isn’t your thing, try packing a picnic basket to enjoy in the sunshine. From sandwiches to fruit skewers to bags of Doritos, a lunch eaten outdoors is certainly superior to all others. 

If you can’t make it to a park or hiking trail, a great way to get some Vitamin D is to spend time planting a garden. Whether you choose a vegetable, fruit, herb or flower garden, be sure to research the seeds that will grow best with your available soil and light levels. Tomatoes are a great option for beginners because they can be planted as seedlings to bypass the germination process, and lettuce is also very low-maintenance when planted early in the season since it doesn’t tolerate heat well. A more extensive list of gardening dos and don’ts from Editor-in-Chief Emma Riddell can be found here.

After reading about all of these ideas for welcoming spring, you should feel totally ready to take on the new season. But wait, there’s more! More school, that is. Unfortunately, warmer temperatures don’t quite signify the conclusion of the academic year. In these last couple of months, it’s important to maintain a balance between outdoor activities and schoolwork. Blending the two by studying for finals and AP tests outside can give students the best of both worlds. Remember that grades still matter until June, even if it’s 70 degrees outside!

No matter which way you choose to welcome the spring season, use this time to become the best version of yourself to finish out the school year. But between the hustle and bustle of clubs, sports, jobs and academics, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.