In college, stress is a part of everyday life. Sure, as an OU student, you live in an actual carnival of a college town, but sometimes homework, relationship problems, athletics, etc. can build up quickly if you don't stay on top of things. Maybe your professor just decided to move to Kenya next month and is moving the deadline for your semester topic paper 3 weeks forward, or maybe your last plate of pizza rolls just hit the kitchen floor due to some questionable handling methods on your part. Either way, you need to come up with solutions to your problems quickly, and when life comes at you fast, stress has a sneaky way of building up within you until your head feels like it might pop. This article is going to give you 5 easy ways to reduce and manage your stress levels as an Ohio University student. Let's get into it, shall we?
1. Get Some Fresh Air
Athens County is one of the most beautiful places in Ohio. With hundreds of hiking trails available to be used for free at any time, there is always a place to go or a sight to see. Nothing is better than exercising and getting a couple lungfuls of fresh air. Stroud's Run State Park, Radar Hill, and Bong Hill are just three of the most popular hiking attractions in the area. Chances are that as soon as you got on campus, you were hearing stories about going up to Bong Hill and seeing the amazing view of Athens, or of the great mountain biking available at Stroud's Run State Park. My personal favorite of these three is Radar Hill, aka the highest point in Athens. The top of this trail provides a breathtaking sight of the stars at night with almost no cloud cover or light pollution. It's also a great place to bring a dog that loves to run as well, since there is so much open space and none of the hustle and bustle of uptown. If you are one for wildlife, you can also most likely catch glimpse of a group of deer walking around or even a flock of geese. Here's a link to all of the trails available to students and residents of Athens. http://athensohio.com/category/wheretoplay/recreation/hiking/
2. Get Some Exercise
Ohio University has a great campus recreation program that offers tons of classes regarding exercise and group fitness at the Ping Center. Some of the classes offered include: Boxing, Zumba, Power Yoga, Regular Yoga, Cycling, and even a fitness bootcamp for the diehards out there. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level in any of these classes, the intuitive instructors will be there to help you through the class and, most importantly, make sure you have a boatload of fun while you do it. As a student, these classes are free if you are enrolled at the Athens Campus, and if you are not, you can purchase a daily Ping Center pass to allow access to all the resources and classes inside. There is also a weight lifting room, climbing wall, combat room, raquet ball courts, and basketball courts that are open for students to utilize. Any student could spend the whole day in Ping and never run out of something fun to do! Here is a link to the schedule of group fitness classes at Ping. https://www.ohio.edu/recreation/fitness/group.cfm
3. Grab a Drink
It's no secret that Athens is home to some of the best college nightlife in the United States, but there is also a network of great breweries around town that can provide some of the best beer and food that will ever smack your tastebuds. Jackie O's BrewPub, Little Fish Brewing Co., and Devil's Kettle Brewin are some of the bigger names among the crowd. With deals, events, live music and great ambience, all three of these major breweries provide a great spot for a stressed out college kid to kick back, drink a brew, and forget all about that midterm they totally just bombed. Sometimes the folk music playing at Little Fish is the only thing that can calm the worried mind. In terms of drinks to start off with, I recommend the Razz Wheat IPA at Jackie O's. It's a tangy wheat IPA that pairs great with any meal that the Pub can provide. Personally, I always order the fish and chips in order to channel my inner Irishman. Also, if you are blessed enough to spend a summer in this great town, you can go to the Boogie on the Bricks or Brew Week events that happen annually in Athens. Both of these events bring in beer and food vendors from around the state to compete in a wide variety of competitions and visitiors from all over come to enjoy every second of it. Here's a link to all of the breweries in Athens County and their respective information. http://athensohio.com/category/dining/breweries-distilleries/
Now that you've read this post, go out and experience Athens for yourself! Take the night off and de-stress, I'm sure that paper or those exam notes will still be there when you get back. Never forget how important it is to rejevunate your brain and realize that sometimes all of the anxiety that college gives to a young student is not as serious as it seems, even though it may feel like the end of the world.
Written by Will Lammers
Senior @ Ohio University