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End of Semester Fun

During the final weeks of every semester, all of your time seems to be devoted to your room or the library, where you’re forever studying for an exam or finishing another paper. While it’s important to keep up with school and end the semester strong, you also need to break out of the studying haze and into the few weeks of nice Boston weather Emerson is in session for. Here are a few places you can go on a limited budget with or — if you need some alone time — without your friends.

Number 1: Revere Beach
Hop on the T and escape from the city to a place where you can smell the ocean and put your feet in the sand. Revere Beach is about a twenty-minute ride away, but can have you feeling like you’re hours away from the city. All you have to do is take the Blue Line to Wonderland and walk less than a mile. Cheyenne Cantor, a Marketing Communications major, class of 2014, has visited and said, “It was nice to be in a space that was so open when we live in a compact city.” Plan a day trip to Revere Beach and make a small picnic out of blankets that no longer need to be on your bed, some food you have gotten from the C-store or dining hall, your iPod or mp3 players and speakers, and set out to have your first beach day of the semester.

Number 2: The Hill’s Alternative
Most Emersonians frequent the hill in the Common when they need to relax for a bit. Because of this, it tends to get crowded. So, why not take a stroll over to Quincy Market instead? You can stop by, grab some lunch or snacks from one of the vendors inside, and then take your food to the North End Park, located between the North End and Financial District. Writing, Literature & Publishing major Lindsay Day, class of 2012, recommends it because it’s a great distraction. “There are a lot of people around, and there are a lot of good stores to shop in,” she said. “The harbor is close, the water is pretty, and you can watch the boats.” The North End Park is a great place to do all the lounging you love to do on the hill, yet allows you to be off campus. Sometimes a physical separation is just as important as a mental one.

Number 3: Yogi’s Choice
Yoga is a proven stress reliever, because you can’t focus on anything besides your breathing and poses. Boston has plenty of great studios around, each offering a variety of classes. Rose Scott, a Marketing Communications major, class of 2014, highly suggests students take yoga because it allows them to alleviate stress. “You don’t think about anything,” she said. “[Plus], when you stretch a lot, you feel a lot better about your body.” The closest studio, Back Bay Yoga, offers $5 community classes that change every week. Or, if you have more time and are staying in Boston for the summer, you can buy a two-week, $25 unlimited pass reserved for first-time customers. The classes vary, but there are always choices, from those that focus on deep relaxation to those that want to make you sweat. It’s a great value, and Back Bay Yoga provides you with all the equipment. The experience will be well-worth the couple of hours you took out of your schedule.

Number 4: Bargain Shopping
Used clothes have found a new name: vintage. Shopping and sorting through another’s unwanted clothes just for fun allows you to focus completely on something besides your final exams and papers. The best way to bargain shop is to go in not looking for anything specific, but to search around and prepare to be surprised. Undoubtedly, you will find some hidden gems tucked away in the admittedly eclectic selection, and the time you spent thrifting will be worth it. You will feel more accomplished, because you found great merchandise at an amazing price. “I have found a lot of designer stuff for really cheap, like some True Religion jeans for 20 dollars,” said Sami Malkenov, a Political Communications major, class of 2014. “It is easy to neglect bargain shopping, because there are so many cool places to shop on Newbury. But, when you find stuff super cheap, it is a great surprise.” Venture away from Newbury Street and hop on the Green Line, where you can take the T to Babcock Street for a trip to Goodwill, or get off at Harvard Ave to pay a visit to Buffalo Exchange.

Number 5: Sailing the City
The Boston Harbor is gorgeous to look at while walking along the Esplanade, but the view is even better from the water. Ditch the Duck Tours, and instead opt for the free sailing open house being offered by the Boston Sailing Center from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1. The open house will give you the opportunity to be on a 24 to 40-foot sailboat captained by an expert sailor, who will take you throughout the harbor free of charge.

Whatever your decision may be, make sure to get outside and enjoy your last days of Boston and Emerson. Remember that studying is important, but balance is necessary. You only have a few more weeks until the semester is done!

What about you? What do you like to do in your spare time during finals week? Comment, or tell us on Twitter: @HCEmerson.

Photo Credit: Rebeca Falco

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