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Getting through the summer while stuck in school

 

While some students are enjoying the lazy days of summer, there are others who have early morning classes or even work. After a weekend of enjoyment from beach trips and hanging with friends, the realities of the weekdays and the responsibilities they bring may seem daunting.

Even after a full night of sleep, the sound of the alarm during what should be a summer vacation is dreadful enough to make anyone want to throw the alarm clock in the trash and hide under the covers. However, a summer schedule can offer more personal time than the busier fall and spring schedules of most students.

Here is a list of activities that any student can try in an effort to make the weekdays suck less.

Go for a run

Once you manage to roll out of bed, a great way to wake up is to immediately put on your sneakers and go for a run. Because the Florida summer heat may be a little discouraging, start early — it could be a good incentive to get up at the first alarm. Or, a run on a treadmill at the Campus Recreation Center will have the same effect. According to clevelandclinic.org, not only does going for a run and exercise in general reduce stress, anxiety and depression, it can also boost self-esteem and helps build energy levels. So a quick run may be an alternate energy boost to a cup of coffee.

Take a long shower

Whether you begin the day with a run or not, there is nothing better than spending extra time in the shower in the morning. Turning the temperature up a little on the water, standing under underneath with your eyes closed and enjoying only the sounds of the water streaming over you can be so serene and help with clearing your mind for the tasks that may lie ahead. It is a calm way to organize thoughts and spend some time just for oneself. Just don’t go too overboard and waste water.

Enjoy a good breakfast

Try to wake up early enough to make your own well-balanced breakfast. Avoid the drive-thru rut of breakfast sandwiches or donuts and create a breakfast that includes an item from all four major food groups. A sensible, simple start to the day could include scrambled egg whites with spinach and low-fat cheese, a cup of mixed berries such as strawberries and blueberries and a slice of whole grain toast.

Take a trip to Starbucks

On your way to class, swing by one of the four Starbucks locations on campus and treat yourself to one of their delicious, often addicting, caffeinated beverages. To make each trip extra special, visit starbuckssecretmenu.net for unique blends to try, such as a Twix Frappuccino, a Caramel Frappuccino with extra caramel, one pump of hazelnut syrup, java chips and whipped cream blended in, topped with mocha drizzle. If you are in a rush, the Starbucks in Barnes and Noble tends to be less crowded than the Library, and without the rush, the Barnes and Noble baristas tend to mix the best drinks. There are also locations in Research Park and Juniper-Poplar.

Enjoy a picnic in the park

The school day blues are not reserved for just the mornings. Try improving your lunch by creating a picnic in a park. There is no need for an elaborate spread — grabbing a sandwich from the Subway in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) and throwing a blanket down in the open grassy fields near MLK Plaza will do the trick. The atmosphere is relatively quiet and spending a little time in the sun, enjoying nature can give you the break you need from the dreary, mundane classrooms.

Play video games

Everyone could use a little time to blow off steam between classes and studying. The SkyPad, located on the fourth floor of the MSC, is a great place to study or to hang out with other students. Whether it is by Xbox, PlayStation, Wii or even your computer, the student lounge offers gaming pods to plug into a game and challenge other students to a little friendly competition. Though the space and the large LCD televisions are already set up at the SkyPad, you must bring your own console.

Take in some art

Staring at textbooks all day could leave your mind desiring visual stimulation. If you would like to add a little culture to your day, visit one or both of the art galleries located on campus. Starting today through June 14, USF’s Centre Gallery, located on the second floor of the MSC, will host “Exposed: An Exhibition by The Focus Group.” Though the Contemporary Art Museum is closed today, it will reopen Friday with two exhibits by Paul Robinson: “Occupying, Building, Thinking: Poetic and Discursive Perspectives on Contemporary Cuban Video Art” and a collection of x-rays, paintings and reliquaries titled “Form of Absence.”