caitlincolumnWhen I was in the 10th grade, I wore all black. Not because I was following a current trend or mourning someone’s death, but because I liked it. The color was simple, and I didn’t have to worry about finding things that matched.

One day, my mom decided (and thank goodness she did) that I needed at least one, if not two more, colors in my wardrobe. She took me shopping and told me I couldn’t buy anything black. So I chose gray. Understandably, she made me purchase one other color. Purple. Since that day, and until a couple months ago, I have worn black, gray and purple — all the time.

It’s just part of my routine. I wake up in the morning, take a shower, open my closet and choose something black, purple or gray.

Sometimes life is just easier when we keep the same routine. We talk to the same people, eat meals at the same places, read the same kind of books, post the same things on Facebook and wear the same colors.

And, as college students, our routines can be pretty important. Without routines, classes are skipped, assignments are late, laundry piles up and important time with God and friends could be lost in the chaos.

But breaking routines can be a good thing. As I’m writing this, I’m wearing a red and white striped sweater, a black skirt (I just have to!) and sparkly gold shoes (I apologize if that doesn’t match in everyone’s opinion). I learned a couple months ago that color is a good thing. It expands my wardrobe, and it gives me a whole new look every day. Who really wants to look the same all the time?

And breaking my routine hasn’t stopped with just the colors I wear. I’ve started eating with new people, studying in my room (instead of constantly inhabiting the library), going to “girls’ nights” off campus, purposefully making conversations with people I run into that I don’t know too well and taking my free time (or nap time) to hang out with my friends. Life has become so much more fun. I enjoy it. Not that I didn’t before, but changing things up a bit makes living exciting.

Doing something out of the ordinary is good and important for enjoying life. Instead of sitting at the end of table A17 for dinner and breakfast every day, why not sit next to the girl who looks lonely or at least sit at the other end of the dining common? Instead of always walking across the bridge to get to the Alumni Building, why not risk crossing the road in front of Rodeheaver or walking through the parking garage? Go eat pho for the first time. Try studying at Barnes and Noble. Meet new people. Smile at strangers. Wear red and gold.

Do things you wouldn’t normally do. Enjoy the life God gave you. Don’t lose it in the routine.