Oh great, spring is here. Personally, I am bummed that the annual Corps vs. Civilians snowball fight has not happened this year. However, this is Blacksburg, so a blizzard is still possible. Even though our typical winter never truly came, we must embrace that this is the beginning of outdoor activity season.
The human body needs to be outside regularly. And no, the walk to the bus stop does not count as spending time outside.
“In recent years, numerous experimental psychology studies have linked exposure to nature with increased energy and heightened sense of well-being,” reads an article from Rochester University. “Other studies suggest that the very presence of nature helps to ward off feelings of exhaustion and that 90 percent of people report increased energy when placed in outdoor activities.”
But what if not everyone likes hiking, camping or the beach? Are they just left to sit on the couch only to reach for their sunglasses when the glare through the window pane is too bright to see the computer screen?
Absolutely not. If hiking or camping isn’t your favorite pastime, fear not. For the people who prefer to avoid endangering their lives for fun, plenty of ways remain to enjoy the outdoors.
Try volunteering! Embody "Ut Prosim" and improve the lives of others in a tangible way while improving your own life. Connecting with VT Engage is a place to start.
Also, in case you have been strategically avoiding the tables all over campus this week and are totally unaware, The Big Event is coming up on April 8.
The Big Event at Virginia Tech is “a student-run community service effort that has grown into the second largest event of its kind in the nation. Every spring, thousands of students, faculty and staff come together to complete nearly one thousand community service projects throughout Blacksburg, Christiansburg and the New River Valley,” reads The Big Event website.
It is free to register, and it is an experience I look forward to every spring.
There is also the 3.2 for 32 on April 15. This is the 10-year anniversary, so show support and run, jog, walk, crawl or roll through the route. It is so humbling to participate in something so significant and powerful in our campus community.
After that, Relay For Life will happen April 21. You can contribute to saving lives while spending an entire night looney from sleep deprivation and walking, running and dancing all over the Drillfield. Stay fueled with the most delicious fried Oreos and grilled cheese.
On days with no events, find a nice wall. Hokie Stone is great for napping. Sit under a tree and read a book. There are also chairs outside all over campus if the ground hurts your butt.
If you are hungry, go to a new restaurant and get a table outside.
The Hahn Horticulture Garden is magical. Sometimes I like to lie on a rock and be soothed by the sound of fish flopping around in the creek.
If you are into video games, why not try live action role-playing? Gather some friends and Nerf guns. Get water balloons, marshmallows and banana peels to throw at each other.
Go for a drive on a gorgeous day. Put on a rocking playlist, your favorite podcast or an audiobook and just revel in the gorgeous mountainous scenery we get to live among.
Do you have a portable instrument? Take it outside and play your heart out. Maybe even leave the case open for tips. If you would prefer a designated day, the second annual Music Day is April 14 this year.
For those who hate hiking, but still want movement, the Huckleberry Trail is one that does not force you into rugged mountain trekking. It is a nice casual paved path around campus great for walking alone, with a dog, with a friend or for running. You can even pack trail mix. It can just be various chocolates if you want.
Sport games can be fun too. Some happen outdoors, such as baseball, lacrosse, field hockey, Quidditch and ultimate frisbee. Go yell at some teams. It’s invigorating even if you don’t understand the game.
For people who eat food and smell flowers, the Blacksburg Farmer's Market happens every Saturday and Wednesday. Eat some yummy food and reap the benefits of vitamin D.
Outdoors does not necessarily mean staying outside for several hours at a time with the sun beating down on your neck. It might mean just leaving the house. Your couch isn’t doing any favors for your health after all.
Some people hate trying new things. Even if you think you know what you like, why not see if there are more things you enjoy? That’s what college is for, right?