When making the most out of your college years, you don’t have to break the bank.
When asked about college life, cheap cup noodles, late-night study sessions, and a tight budget often come to mind. But being a ~broke~ kid doesn’t mean you can’t romanticize your everyday experiences. Turning mundane moments into something cinematic—we’ve heard this time and time again, but what does it really mean?
In the hustle and bustle of coursework, deadlines, and midterms, we often overlook the moments we will miss the most once we’re out of college. Whether it’s taking photos of your coffee cup or going to that championship game, there are countless ways to make the most out of those years—all while maintaining your academics. Maybe you’re a hopeless romantic or simply breaking the monotony; here’s how to romanticize your life as a broke college kid.
Curate a Personalized Playlist
Create a personalized playlist with songs that resonate with your mood. Whether it’s for study sessions, relaxation, or dance parties in your room, the right tunes can change your daily routine. My personal pick? A 2016 movie playlist for my commute. Those OPM tracks make me feel like I’m in a music video.
Play Dress Up for the Day
When your school doesn’t have a dress code, it’s easy to fall into the habit of wearing sweatpants and flip-flops. If you’re feeling lazy, picture that 90s romcom movie montage when the main character chooses her OOTD. Now, putting in that extra effort to plan your outfit? If it means changing your mood for the better and boosting your confidence, then those minutes are totally worthwhile.
Take Pictures Even When It’s a Mundane Moment
You totally don’t need a snazzy camera to capture the good stuff. Your trusty smartphone’s got your back. Take photos of your classroom bestie, carinderia lunch, and that cozy corner in your dorm room. Someday, you’ll look back on these mundane moments and wish you were 20-something on campus again.
Take Yourself Out on a Date
When you’re single and struggling with your classes, self-love becomes your only ally against the world. While it sounds a little self-indulgent, it makes sense to date yourself and dive deep into self-discovery. After all, we often forget the carefree souls we once were before entering college.
It doesn’t have to be over-the-top, too. Head to a cute café or pop into a local museum. Who knows what kind of cinematic moments you might make without blowing your budget.
Have an At-Home Spa Day
Now that we’re all about self-love, add at-home spa day to the list. To transform your dorm room into a relaxing space, start by making sure it’s clean and clutter-free. Then, light some scented candles, head to your everything shower, and apply face masks while playing your personalized playlist. Preferably, schedule your DIY pamper day on a Sunday so that you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle another school week.
Mood Lights for an ~Aesthetic~ Atmosphere
I learned this one from my interior design BFF: lighting makes or breaks your living space. And since we’re not breaking the bank, those trending LED lights or ₱99 aura lamps will work just fine when creating a cozier atmosphere. Remember, classrooms are dull enough; don’t bring that energy back into your dorm room.
Write (or Doodle) Whatever You’re Feeling
Just like taking yourself out on a date, journaling encourages self-reflection. It allows you to dive deep into your thoughts, emotions, and experiences, helping you gain a unique understanding of yourself. Your journal is also a canvas for creativity. You can use it for drawing, sketching, or even pasting photographs and mementos. In essence, it helps you cherish the present, plan for the future, and reflect on the past, making it one of the perfect ways to romanticize your life and make the most of your college experience.
Slow Down Your Daily Routine
In the hustle and bustle of college life, it’s easy to rush through your daily routine. Take a step back and savor the small moments. For instance, when you’re walking to your 7 AM class, take a moment to people-watch on campus and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. You don’t have to do this everyday, but slowing down can make your college experience feel more romantic and less stressful.
Work on a Creative Project
Whether you’re a communication major cramming for finals or studying in a science program, we often forget what it’s like to genuinely feel those creative juices. Creativity can serve as a stress-reliever. When you immerse yourself in a creative project, it provides an opportunity to escape the daily grind and unwind, reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Engaging in creative activities also encourages mindfulness, where you are fully present in the moment, focusing on the process rather than the outcome. And who knows? Pursuing creative endeavors can reignite your passion for life.
Take Half an Hour for an Activity That Brings You Joy
In the midst of lectures, midterm exams, and assignments, it’s essential to set aside time for yourself. Instead of scrolling through TikTok, dedicate 30 minutes a day to an activity you genuinely enjoy, whether it’s reading a book, playing an video game, or working out. This small ritual can help you relax and remind you of the small joys outside of academics.