Written by Suzanne Graham

Most of us are halfway through the semester ready to race to the end, preparing ourselves for finals and jump right into winter break. Others of us are having to transition again from campus life to online schooling or you’re excited that for the first time you will be able to step foot on campus. Wherever you are on your school journey, I just wanted to offer some aesthetics to help your ventures become more enjoyable.

What is the main key to enjoying school? First of all, the obvious answer is to enjoy the path you have decided to embark on. I think a lot of people focus more on the realistic aspect of their career choices, but I am very idealistic so I won’t do anything that goes against what I am passionate about. However, this not everything that encompasses what it means to go to school. Even those that enjoy their degree plan can be stressing themselves out. What do you do when that happens? Many things can be done, to be honest. Like creating reward systems by treating yourself every once in a while, studying with friends is always popular, or if you’re the more imaginative type, romanticizing the process could work even better. Romanticizing a process has been proven to be a technique that has proven to work for some people.

There are already communities that have created “aesthetics” that fit certain “lifestyles,” but these are not meant to be followed down to the last detail. Instead, these aesthetics are meant to portray a certain message to encourage people to live in the moment, enjoying who they are, while being their most productive.

I have found many of these groups of people on the social media platform, Tumblr, but they are also prevalent on other social media apps. I will offer the three most prevalent communities below:

1. Dark Academia

This community was born from the book, The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Its main focus is on Greek history, Gothic architecture, the liberal arts, secret societies, and romantic longing. The “dark” part of the community derives from its fascination with death and the overall gothic mood it presents. This is an aesthetic that is perfect for fall weather because it encompasses long coats and turtlenecks, attempting the classic professor look. But even though there’s all this idea of fun, the heart of this community is its love of learning. Delving deep into your favorite subjects, engaging in critical conversations, and writing an essay could never be more fun.

2. Light Academia

This aesthetic, as you might have guessed, presents the exact opposite mood of Dark Academia. Instead of fall vibes and emotional brooding, there is the brightness of spring and focusing on a more positive nature of life. It is about noticing the little things in life and paying attention to the small details. Light academics also focus their attention primarily on education, deriving their interests in the classical era primarily. If you have more of a passion for life and sunshine, studying with this group of people might be your thing more than the darker souls in the academic world.

3. Chaotic Academia

Lastly, we have the chaotic academic which is meant to fit in everyone who feels as though they don’t particularly belong within dark or light academia. This is for the people who don’t have a

set manner of managing their tasks, their routines are unpredictable, and they have a deep interest in the banned. Here you’re allowed to have a “messy” lifestyle and people support you for it because not everything has to be organized and neat. This is the community that doesn’t accept elitism which some may encounter in either of the other aesthetics. Here you can be whatever you want as long as you have a passion for learning.

These aesthetics all have a lot in common. At the same time though, when searching through each of their respective tags, you can see the different personalities that seep through. Personally, I love exploring the dark academia tag most of all. By seeing other people’s passions, I can feel even more excited about the work that I am doing. At the same time, you get fantastic book recommendations based on those interests and a new group of people to relate with.

Are there any methods you have in regards to enjoying the long semesters?

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