Skipping class for sunshine

Students attempt to find balance between school, sunny days

Finding the motivation to wake up early can be difficult for some, but when the sun is out junior Rachel Roebke has no problem with being an early riser.

As a Washington state native, Roebke has grown up with an appreciation for the outdoors and loves any opportunity she can get to take advantage of the sunny weather in Seattle.

But as she and other students know, enjoying the warm weather can have its costs.

As summer draws closer in Seattle, SPU students attempt to find the balance between work and making the most of the sunny days.

“I have some time before my 11 o’clock classes, so I just try to wake up early and in between classes do some work,” Roebke said. “I really just try to work as hard as I can until six or seven, and then I can take the rest of my day to relax.”

Lauren Giese | The Falcon
Junior Rachel Roebke purchased her own hammock to relax by the canal.

She says that her routine is helpful because it allows her the end of her day to be outside rather than inside doing schoolwork.

One of her favorite activities is relaxing near the canal, so she recently purchased her own hammock.

As a senior Resident Adviser in Ashton Hall, Spencer Merrill has four years of experience with Spring Quarter at SPU and has learned how to more efficiently spend his time over the years.

Merrill anticipated a less rigorous schedule for Spring Quarter because he knows what it entails.

“Typically I would have to sacrifice nice days to stay in the library and study just to keep on top of my work,” Merrill said.

“Definitely [in my] senior year I’ve become a better planner compared to freshman year,” he continued. “Freshman year I would say yes to everything.”

Merrill believes that planning is the key to maintaining grades while taking advantage of the sunshine and other opportunities.

As time allows, Merrill believes that going to Golden Gardens on a nice day is a must for SPU students.

First-year Grant Stuart anticipated Spring Quarter and purposefully carved his class schedule to finish each day by 12:20 p.m. at the latest.

This allows him to spend the remainder of his day swimming, reading or spending time with friends.

“Overall, SPU is more alive in the spring than any other quarter,” sophomore Olivia Beckham said.

In her free time, Beckham enjoys spending time in Tiffany Loop or playing a game at Wallace for intramurals.

She joins as many intramural teams as possible so that she has plenty of options to be outdoors.

But Beckham admits that all of these activities may have exacted a toll on her studies.

“Spring Quarter is by far the hardest quarter for students, and this is especially true for me,” Beckham said. “I characterize myself as an impulsive ‘yes-er’, meaning that I will say ‘yes’ to any activity without thinking about the costs it has for my studies.”

To combat her eager desire to be outdoors, Beckham knows she must get comfortable in the library or a coffee shop nearby.

For first-year Chloe Otto, the best way to balance school and sunshine is to find ways to incorporate both into her routine at the same time.

“It can sometimes be difficult to balance school and free time when it is sunny because I tend to lose motivation when I am stuck behind a textbook sitting inside,” Otto said.

“I usually will bring my homework and studying outside so I can enjoy the sun while still being able to get my work done.”

Otto enjoys Tiffany Loop but also soaks up the sunshine at Gasworks Park with a textbook for her Integrated Studies major.

4 men play guitars on the grass in Tiffany loop.

Chris Yang | The Falcon
Chase Rabideau and three other students spend their day sitting on the grass in Tiffany Loop while playing their guitars.

Sophomore Erika Bunge, however, tends to find it difficult to get her work done outside, so she is often forced to choose between the two.

“I feel guilty if I enjoy the sun and do not do my homework, but I also feel guilty if I do my homework and don’t take advantage of the sunshine,” Bunge said.

Bunge shared that she convinces herself into thinking that once the quarter is over, all of the work she puts into it will be worth it.

“Sometimes this works, and I buckle down to finish the quarter strong,” Bunge said. “And then other times it doesn’t, and I find myself in a hammock by the canal listening to the birds and soaking up the sun.”

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