Campus Offers Time-outs from Studying

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(Photo by: Justin Prather / Daily Utah Chronicle).

By Madge Slack

It’s easy for college to get boring as students get bogged down in homework and study schedules. You stop sleeping, eat mac ‘n’ cheese for every meal and before you know it life isn’t as fun as it once was. The obvious solution is to go out and have a good time, but then you face the risk of declining grades and the obstacle of student-induced poverty. How is a college student to have fun, not go broke — or broker — and still pull grades?

Lucky for us, the University of Utah is not only aware of this predicament, but they are actively working to change it. The stereotype of overworked, sleep-deprived college kids is utter crap and it’s time to change the expectation. Instead of frying your brain by studying non-stop, start taking study breaks. Taking breaks will allow you to study better and give you an opportunity to go enjoy life for a few hours.

There are many on-campus events and places to give your brain a rest without being antisocial and lazy watching Netflix for ten hours straight. Instead, check out the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) or the Natural History Museum. Even the Fort Douglas Museum, though smaller, is great. At museums, you can learn something new or take some friends and play hide and seek in the catacombs of history. Not to mention the museums have events all the time. UMFA frequently has free yoga, and they also do scavenger hunts and writing sessions with snacks. Last year, they culminated their re-opening celebrations with a huge dance party that included free food. The Natural History Museum has events that are a little more highbrow, such as cheese and wine tastings for those of age and kiddie activities to give harried parents a moment of rest. Both the UMFA and Natural History Museum frequently host a series of eclectic lectures, which several professors will give you extra credit for attending. Just imagine, ditch the studying, grab a snack at the cafe, chill in the lecture hall for an hour and get bonus points while you’re at it. Even better — the museums are free to students with their uID card.

If museums aren’t your passion, there are plenty of other options. Perhaps you are a film buff? The Post Theater by the dorms is always screening free movies, often with popcorn thrown in, and the U takes students to movie premieres at least once a semester. Checking out the film school’s website is wise because they screen edgier films in foreign languages and documentaries that will knock your socks off.

If not film, maybe music tickles your fancy. Every year ASUU hosts a series of concerts. Tickets are free, but you have to get them in advance. A performer will be flown in for a night and there will be food and giveaways. Most recently, Migos performed at the annual Redfest concert.

Check out Arts Bash in the fall. It’s a day where all the fine arts programs present pieces they are working on and a fun way to preview their shows. By the way, you get into all of the shows on campus for free with your U card except for shows at Kingsbury Hall and Pioneer Theatre, which generally cost $5.

If I haven’t mentioned something to make your heart sing, never fear. The Petersen Heritage Center, the Union and the Marriott Library always host events — everything from Zombie runs and elaborate games of tag to coffee hours where you can sit and read books. Lectures, off-campus trips, parties and more can all be found on the events page. If you can’t decide, look no further, we feature the best events each week in the Chronicle.

Never fear, freshmen, college is fun and you can enjoy it even as you work hard towards your degree. Plus, the free food is everywhere. 

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