Today: Jul 17, 2024

Useful time-fillers around campus

Mackenzie Hurlbert – Copy Editor –

You know those awkward breaks you have between classes—the ones too short to head back to the dorm but too long to just casually hang out in the hall outside of your next class? How do you spend them? Texting? Perusing Facebook? Staring into space? There are so many healthier and more resourceful things to do than stare at your phone or drift into a zombie state.  No matter the length of your awkward break or the extent of your laziness, there’s something on campus to stop your thumbs from twiddling and your brain from falling asleep. 

On a night when you feel energized or just in need of some fresh air, you can spend your break walking the paths behind Engleman and Jennings. There’s a quaint little pond which is home to some geese and other fowl, and there is a garden area cultivated by some students and professors at Southern. By spending maybe 30 minutes of your time, you can get a mild cardio workout, enjoy the scenery and stretch your legs before returning to the cramped classroom.

Another possibility for a more active and healthier use of your time could be a membership to the Fitness Center. It’s $60, payable through your hootloot account. The gym offers a variety of cardio and weight machines and fitness classes ranging from Zumba to Pilates or kickboxing. Of course the classes take around 45 minutes to an hour to complete but you can spend your break walking on the treadmill, using the elliptical or navigating the weight machines. This way, your breaks won’t be wasted on your butt or on your phone, and you’ll probably feel more uplifted and happy about yourself.

For those who enjoy billiards or ping pong, the game room in the Student Center is a popular hangout. With multiple pool tables, a ping pong table and some friends, a student can have fun, release their competitive side and maybe take out some aggression from class on the ping pong ball. If you have enough time and make sure you pay attention to the clock, you just might be able to squeeze in a game or two before rushing off to class.

If you feel like your brain and stomach need a boost, also stop by the Student Center. You can purchase a magazine at the bookstore and some snacks in the food court and spend your break refueling on gossip and coffee. If you don’t want to spend money but still would like some reading material to occupy your time, grab a book and a comfy chair in Buley Library. My favorite spot is on the second floor, near the windows looking out on the Student Center. It’s a great place to catch some sun, read—and people watch! Of course, I mean, that’s only what I hear…

While doing homework is an obvious cure for twiddling thumbs, one can also use this time to visit professors during their office hours. Professors are there to help you, and whether it is a question about homework, their field or a future assignment, don’t be afraid to speak up and visit often.

One thing that I like to do if I have a little time to burn before class is listen to my iPod. I put it on shuffle and rediscover all the songs I’ve forgotten of or never knew I had. I fall in love all over again with some, skip through others and sing along with a few until I start getting weird looks from my neighbors.

Whatever you do to fill those awkward breaks with awesomeness, make sure it’s something you enjoy. In my opinion, having a new favorite song stuck in your head for the rest of the day is better than not remembering those 30 minutes you wasted aimlessly scrolling through Facebook or Twitter. Likewise, spending 30 minutes walking on the paths behind Engleman is much more refreshing than a zombie-coma spent sprawled on the floor of a hallway. Make the most out of you time, be productive, and at the end of the day you’ll find you’ve accomplished more than you intended.

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