Spring cleaning traces its roots to many cultures, ethnic groups and faiths that implemented spring time rituals into their society. During these times, spring cleaning was more of a holiday with meaning which is quite different from today’s interpretation.
Spring cleaning’s practice of actually cleaning, originated in Persian, Scottish and Hebrew cultures. Persian and Scottish people celebrated it before their New Year’s festival, much like their ancestors before them, however they actually cleaned. For the followers of the Jewish faith, it can be related to the practice of being clean for Passover.
The interpretation in North America and Northern Europe was that around March the cold air and dust that built up over winter could finally be released. Once it was warm enough to open up all the windows and clean the house, serious dusting took place before the warmer months when insects would come. This early 19th century practice dictates our modern interpretation of spring cleaning.
Once the cold fog of winter quarter lifts, the first thing that students need to do is put their sleep schedules in order. After spending a day to recuperate and refresh the mind, students will hopefully remember not to neglect the dozens of papers that have accumulated in their backpacks over the last three months. While cleaning it out, it’s a good idea to reuse notebooks you didn’t use and re-organize what you already have to make preparations for spring quarter easier.
Also on the to-do list is selling old books. Getting money is a bonus incentive to doing a student’s spring cleaning, but it will also remove clutter and perhaps remind you to return any books you may have rented. You may also want to rearrange your room and car if you have one. Mounds of clothes and fast food trash have a way of accumulating during the long drive to spring break.
Re-assessing your earned credits and future credit requirement to plan your schedule will work best during the down time spring break will give. Re-calculating and planning your budget for next quarter is one of the best uses of spring cleaning if you don’t adhere to the traditional one. Students can find spring cleaning to be a sensible time of the year if they use that time for practical purposes.
Just because the practices of spring break are antiquated and far removed from the needs of today’s college students doesn’t mean we can’t adapt spring break once more into a splendid mix of the 19th century and Daytona Beach.
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