By Darby Good | Page One Editor
As midterms are approaching, students need to make sure to take care of themselves while preparing for their tests by taking time to get unplugged and outside.
Students will often lock themselves indoors to focus on their studies for long periods of time, which can actually end up being counterproductive. A study at the University of Michigan showed that a group of people who took a walk through a wooded area had 20 percent better short-term memory than those who took in city-scape sights. In Waco, there are so many opportunities that students can take advantage of during their study breaks before midterms arrive.
One obvious choice is Cameron Park. It is one of the largest municipal parks in Texas and offers a little bit of everything for different interests. This includes various hiking and biking trails throughout the park, as well as other trails for people who either want to run or just take a relaxing walk.
Another resource than can be really fun is playing outdoor games on Fountain Mall. Students can be commonly found playing Spikeball, Frisbee or fetch with their dogs on that stretch of land. Activities like these are much more enjoyable because they are group events that can be done as a part of a study group. It combines fun and spending time taking in fresh air, while also being the perfect distance from the library if you’re just taking a quick break before going back to the grind.
If you’re in a serious time crunch, a quick way to take in some sun rays is to eat meals outside. Doing this allows you take time away from the crowded libraries or lecture halls and focus on just doing one thing at time. It can also turn into a relaxing time with friends if you turn it into an outdoor picnic. The main point is just taking the time to realign yourself while also getting some fuel for your day.
Hammocking is another great option if students want to combine spending time outdoors, but you can also do it while studying. This idea is also highly versatile because you can hammock in Cameron Park, in the trees outside the Bill Daniel Student Center or anywhere with two tree branches to tie the ends of the hammock to. This option works great because it takes a step back to unplug from Wi-Fi, but students can still go over notes, read a chapter of their textbooks or just take a nap.
It’s easy to overthink midterm season as things start to stack up on everyone’s plates. That’s why taking the time to step back and enjoy the outdoors doesn’t have to be taking time away from studying. I am able to focus a lot easier after getting out for a quick run or walk through the trails in Cameron Park. It’s simply a way to get away from the screens and prepare our minds to take on long study regimens. Fresh air is needed to study just as much as it is needed to breathe. By taking the time to spend outside, we all can approach this season with a little more self-love.