Group photo on a college hike.

How to Get Outdoors When You Are a Busy College Student

By: Alyssa Miele

College is hard. Period.

You’re juggling classes, homework, extracurriculars, internships, jobs and more all while trying to maintain your health and maybe get a few hours of sleep each night. In the midst of all the craziness college brings, it’s hard to find time to get outdoors. Here are just a few easy ways to do just that!

1. Eat your Lunch Outside

Order from a takeout place on campus– or bring your own– and sit outside on the grass or at an outdoor table. Doing so gives your body a break from the stale, recycled indoor air and harsh fluorescent lights of classrooms while also providing you with some much-needed Vitamin D.

2. Skip the Bus

This is my favorite tip. If you have time between classes, walk to class instead of taking the bus or driving! In addition to being outside, you’re up and moving which increases the blood flow to your whole body and helps your cognitive abilities. Walking to class may help you perform better in that class!

Consider biking to class too. Have you tried Pittsburgh’s bike share system, Healthy Ride?

3. Do Homework Outside

If your assignment doesn’t require an internet connection to complete, consider completing it outside! Reading multiple chapters of an Intro to Ethics book may seem like a bummer, but doing so surrounded by the trees on campus may make it a little more rewarding. The fresh air is also great for refreshing your mind!

4. Join an Outdoors Club

Spend your weekends outside! Most colleges have outdoors-centered clubs that students can join that range from hiking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, and more. Some of those clubs even offer discounted or free events! Get outdoors while also meeting new friends with your same interests by signing up.

5. Do your Workout Outside

Skip the gym and opt for an outdoor workout! Take a jog, or if you’re like me and hate running, do some bodyweight strength training or yoga in your backyard or at a nearby park. Some parks around Pittsburgh even offer small outdoor exercise stations that use your body weight as resistance. Check out this article for more information on the exercise stations.

6. Get an Outdoor Internship

Here’s our shameless plug, as a Venture Outdoors intern you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get outdoors while you’re learning. We always have positions available outdoor photographers, communications interns, and youth educators. If you love to get outside and want to share that with others, apply this semester.

It might seem downright impossible to make time for the outdoors with such a busy college schedule, but these unconventional methods are sure to get you out of the classroom and into the fresh air!

Student Discount

Students get $5 off at Kayak Pittsburgh locations. Try kayaking, stand up paddleboards, or canoes.