Now that Spring is finally here, it’s time to say so long to your dark and dreary dorm room and get outside!
There are a host of emotional and physical benefits that come with spending time in the great outdoors, and just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of them. No, you don’t need to gather your camping gear and go on a week-long backpacking trip out in the boonies (although you certainly can if you’d like). There are simple ways you can get out there and get a little Vitamin D in the midst of studying and classes.
1. Study in the sun
You certainly have a lot of studying and homework that needs to get done! Why not do it in the great outdoors? The library may be super quiet, but it can also get sort of depressing after a long winter inside. No matter what campus you live on, there’s bound to be somewhere you can plop down and crack open your books. Take some time to go exploring, and maybe you’ll find your very own nook or tree that you can make “yours” for studying.
If it’s not quite warm weather out, just make sure you wear your fleece and grab a warm blanket. A steaming mug of coffee or hot cocoa will help to keep the chill off.
2. Have a grill out
Do a little research and find out if there are parks or beaches with grills nearby. After that, all you really need is some charcoal, hamburger meat and other food items, and a group of friends! Everyone loves a good cookout, and if you host a get together in the evening when it’s starting to get cooler, you can turn your cookout into a bonfire and roast s’mores!
If you can’t find a park or beach with grills, check with some upperclassmen or other friends and see if anyone you know owns a grill. Worst case scenario: precook the meat and cart it outside with you!
3. Head to the water
If you’re one of the lucky ones who live near the beach, grab some friends and a swimsuit, and head to the water! If you don’t live near the ocean or a lake with great beaches, do a little research and find out if there are any pools nearby. Not only is swimming good exercise, but it’s a great way to soak up some sun. It can also be incredibly calming and stress relieving.
Other water options include rivers or state parks with creeks. Your campus might even have its own pool as well! If you don’t feel like swimming, consider renting some canoes or kayaks. Oftentimes, campuses that near a river or lake will rent canoes, paddleboats, kayaks and more to students.
4. Work in the outdoors
Depending on where you live, a year-long job outdoors might not make sense with the weather, but if you live somewhere that’s a bit warmer, you might want to consider getting a job where you can work outside!
Are you into sports? Perhaps you could coach little league or help with other youth sports teams. Is there an amusement park or zoo near you? Maybe a job at a park or as a lifeguard or as a camp counselor is up your alley. If you like animals, you might enjoy being a dog walker! At the very least, most college campuses hire a grounds crew to take care of the lawn and foliage, so if you like mowing lawns, this could be a good option for you. Janitorial staff is also necessary for making sure that a college campus is clean and presentable on a regular basis.
5. Attend outdoor events
If you live near a city or suburb, chances are good that there will be a variety of events hosted outside year ’round. Get a group of your friends together and attend festivals or concerts. Even a simple block party can do the trick. Not only will you be soaking up that precious Vitamin D, but you’ll be attending a fun event with friends—can’t go wrong there.