Rays of sunshine. Blooming flowers. Birds chirping. Spring Break.

The bitter winter cold is slowing disappearing, as we prepare for the season of new beginnings. It’s time to turn over a new leaf this spring.

While you are preparing for break, look forward to what is coming your way. I hope that my Spring Preview helps you navigate through this time of the year.

First, what’s not to love about the spring season? We pleasure in leisurely outdoor activities, lightweight clothing, and of course, the best of entertainment. Make sure to set your calendars because The Final Four, the final four teams in the annual NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, and the NBA playoffs are on the horizon. As college basketball season comes to a close, there’s much in store for spring sports such as baseball and softball.

If you’re into film, the "Beauty and the Beast" re-make will soon twirl into movie theaters. For you action sequence fans, our very own Turner Theatre in Schar Hall will show "Rogue One" on Sunday, April 2nd. In the meantime, for movies that are equally beautiful as they are thoughtful, watch "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," "Eat, Pray, Love" and "Jerry MaGuire." Just Imagine: Dev Patel, Judi Dench, a young Tom Cruise, and the effervescent Julia Roberts all in your living room. That sounds like an exciting party filled with romance, optimism and spontaneity. All these films weave into the narrative of spring as a moment where old and new blend in harmony.

As for music, make time for Pharrell William's infectious tune, “Happy.” Though it is an older song, this Grammy winning single will get you in the mood for the here and now. In the present, consider watching the music video  “Happy Street,” a fun record collaboration between actor Bill Murray and musician Paul Shaffer that will surely brighten up your day and prepare you for the spring sunshine. 

You should check out the Elon University cultural events calendar for exciting programs on campus. I know the Preforming Arts Department is sure to put on a show-stopping array of performances, which will include Little Women, the musical.

On the academic side, attend the Student Undergraduate Research Forum, a fascinating program that provides students the opportunity to present their research to a faculty and student audience. The forum will be held this year on Tuesday, April 25th.

Spring, in a figurative way, also signals a rebirth in ideas to reach out to our local and global communities. Use your academic skills to invest in volunteer opportunities.

As for the class of 2017, enjoy your last hurrah. You made it through fours years of college–an accomplishment that calls for celebration.

Take my suggestions with a grain of salt, but find something you enjoy doing. Engage in projects that inspire you in your everyday pursuits. For those us in need of a do-over, let’s start afresh. It will not be easy, but I hope this season will motivate all of us throughout the second half of the semester.   

Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins captures the essence of this season, saying, “nothing is so beautiful as spring.” As we wait for spring to begin, have fun, rest well, and enjoy your break.