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Wisdom From Our Younger Selves: 3 Ways to Make Spring Memorable With Mushrooms

When I think of spring, my mind consistently nestles into the depths of small, seemingly insignificant memories from my four years in a small, northern college town during my university years.

Despite continuing our evening-time debauchery (in minimal clothing) in sub-zero temperatures, I’d never felt a shift in seasons quite like I did in late March during this era of my life.

The grassy hills on campus were covered with bikini-clad students, while neighboring fraternity brothers moved their parties from their houses’ musty basements to the backyard. The smell of burning briquettes and a bustling energy invaded the town in a way that gave light to new hope.

It was as though we’d been sleepwalking our way through the past several months and suddenly came alive. And as early twenty-somethings seeped in too much energy and the excitement of our newfound independence, we were quick to change our routines to soak up the extra daylight.

Nobody was there to tell us it was time to come inside, and we weren’t yet jaded by life or desensitized to the glory that is the shifting seasons. For the first time, we got to do it our way.

So, why did this time stick out so much, and what can we learn from our college-aged selves? As it turns out, there was some real science behind our madness and some youthful wisdom to impart on our more-knowing counterparts. Here are three things we can do to make spring as euphoric as it was at 19.

1.) Wear shorts before it’s actually warm. The sun-basking bikini-bearing college students were onto something with their seasonally premature garb. While 65 degrees is barely warm enough for that level of skin exposure, we both soak in a little extra vitamin D and trigger the pleasure center of our brain as we build anticipation for the upcoming season.
While clothing alone has the power to boost our mood, dressing in anticipation of an upcoming season creates a layered effect by triggering the part of our brain responsible for reward processing and motivation. In short, wearing shorts when it barely feels appropriate might make you feel just as giddy as that premature sunbathing session in a grassy courtyard pre-adulthood. 
2.) Drink mushrooms on your stoop with neighbors. In my university years, the warmer evenings seemed to pull our entire street from our cozy study corners to the comfort of subpar patio furniture on our front porches. Despite not necessarily having a connection with those in close proximity before the days warmed up, the spring had us hopping from patio to patio for games and good laughs.
While most of us crave a similar sense of community in our older age, we’ve become increasingly complacent with befriending our neighbors and hardly consider making the first move. Keep extra cans of Little Saints on hand, and invite your neighbors over. Use them as a conversation starter to discuss something a little outside the ordinary and – of course – to keep your hands busy as you ease into new company.
With community support and a sense of belonging being some of the most important contributors to our happiness and overall well being, a simple invite could pay dividends.
3.) Ritualize your sundowner. With the sunset taking place two hours after it did on the shortest day of the year, most of us are getting home with some daylight to spare. Tying this into the aforementioned suggestion, it was at about this hour that neighbors fled outside, all waiting to watch the day dissolve into the horizon. 

When we do the same thing day in and day out, we create an increased sense of stability, making us feel safer even in the depths of uncertainty – it’s the ultimate biohack. We curated our favorite flavors and created the sundowner bundle for this reason. By layering a pleasurable sensory experience with the turn of the day, we can make the moment all the more special.

While we’re quick to dissect our passions and desires from childhood when looking for a compass to our callings, I, for one, have dismissed the magic I felt in my college years, mostly dubbing it a comical chapter filled with unsophisticated debauchery.

But, upon further reflection, I see it a bit differently. How did I choose to interact with the world in my early moments as a newly independent being? I plan to spend this week channeling the excitement of my 19 year-old self on the first 65 degree day of spring.

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