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!

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.

Here’s some links to local college outdoors clubs:
California University of Pennsylvania

University of Pittsburgh

Carnegie Mellon University

Duquesne University

Robert Morris University

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

5. Get your Workout in 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. Join us!

Here’s our shameless plug about how one of the easiest ways to get outside while in college is to join us! We make it easy (and affordable). From discounts on Kayak Pittsburgh rentals to special pricing on custom trips – there’s an adventure that’s perfect for you (and your college buddies). Check out our College Programs webpage for more information.

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!