The most pressing question I have these days is: how do I have entire days of nothing to do except homework assignments, yet I still find myself not doing them? After a lot of deep thinking, at 4 in the morning might I add, I concluded that it is because I have nothing fun to look forward to that would make the assignments tolerable. My solution? Coloring! Yes, coloring. Before you ask, no, it is not only for children and can actually be very fun and therapeutic. This is especially true for me since I am not artistically inclined. I mean, I chose engineering for a reason. I don’t have to worry about shading or color theory. The hardest decision I have to make while coloring is choosing the right shade of blue for the ocean.

So there I was, laying in bed at 4AM, browsing through Amazon for the perfect coloring book and markers. Once they arrived and I started coloring daily, my productivity increased tenfold. I would finish one section of the page, do my calculus three homework problems, color another section, then finish my weekly coding project. It was no longer an endless stream of work that could only be separated by mindlessly watching TikToks. I now had something I looked forward to doing.

Giving our brains something enjoyable to do while also staying productive is really important for success in academics. This is why schools offer clubs and electives that act as buffers for major-related classes. Since that is not really an option right now, we need to improvise with activities we wouldn’t usually do. If coloring is not for you, you could try: painting by numbers, making friendship bracelets, sudoku (a physical book would be preferable to an app), or puzzles. Anything that is not assigned by USC or on a phone screen is a healthy outlet and fun way to pass the time. It would also keep you from cutting or dying your hair out of boredom. That only offers immediate and short term satisfaction. Yes I am talking to you, do not get bangs.

Natalie Le

Natalie Le

MAJOR: Civil Engineering (Building Science) YEAR: Class of 2023 HOMETOWN: San Diego, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @nataliexlinh On campus I am involved in various Civil clubs like Construction Management, Earth Engineering Research, and Society of Civil Engineers. Outside of engineering I work a part time job in the Office of Admissions.

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