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Just in Case the Sun Comes Out: Strouds v. South Beach

 As May progresses, OU students are trying to rid their memories of a depressing, rainy April. Last April saw a flooded Hocking River, inside out umbrellas and an uncharacteristically wet kick-off to fest season. However, the power of positive thinking allows us to envision the sunshine, swimsuits and sweat that have eluded Athens so far this spring. As we look ahead to warmer weather, we ask ourselves where is the best place to work on the coveted summer tan: the popular Strouds Run or the standard undergrad hangout South Beach?
 
Strouds Run: Strouds Run is the perfect mini-getaway for when it is impossible to take a vacation. Located right outside of Athens, many students choose to visit on the weekends when they can make the trip a day-long adventure. Strouds includes a lake, beach, sand volleyball, boat rentals, fishing and hiking trails. With so many options, there is something for everyone. Strouds also provides picnic tables if you choose to pack a lunch like most visitors do. You can also bring your dog for a walk and then cool off by taking a dip in the lake. You’ll also tan better since the light reflects off the water and onto your skin, says ChaCha.com. Plus, unless you have friends who can swipe you into the Summit’s pool, where else can you cool off in a body of water during the scorching 80+ degree weather? Since you have to drive to Strouds, it might not be ideal for those without access to a car. It also isn’t ideal for the quick break between classes. But it is perfect for Fridays and Sundays when all you want to do is relax and get away from the ominous OU campus for a change of scenery, which we all know is much overdue after the rainy start to spring quarter. I know my dorm walls feel like they’re closing in on me and if I don’t get some sunlight I’m going to start glowing. So next time you have a break from school work, take a drive to Strouds Run and enjoy some of nature’s beauty.
Map to Strouds Run
 

 
South Beach: I will just come out and say it: I might be biased, but I prefer South Beach. The lawns in front of Nelson Dining Hall and the Front Four dorms, Pickering, Crawford, Mackinnon, and Brown, have long been nicknamed “South Beach” after the hardest partying place in Florida. I have lived on South Green for both my freshman and sophomore years. Freshman year, I inhabited the Deep South in the substance-free True House and this year I moved my way up to Mackinnon Hall on the Front Four. During spring quarter of my freshman year, I was so amazed whenever I walked home to True. Anytime the weather was decent, which last year was about five days out of the week; there were hordes of students on South Beach. Co-ed teams bumped volleyballs back and forth in the sandy courts, shirtless guys hooped intensely on the neighboring basketball courts, and the lawns were packed with girls showing off their tans obtained from OuterGlow in ordered-online Victoria’s Secret bikinis. It was so “college.” After that spring, which I now fondly refer to as “The Best Ten Weeks of My Life,” I vowed to live as close to South Beach as possible. So here I am sophomore year, in the middle of the spring revelry. Once again, it is so “college.” My girlfriends and I spend every sunny, spare minute lying out on South Beach. My guy friends usually play catch nearby and sometimes there are even students break dancing, unicycle-ing, or smoking hookah. With so many different activities going on, it is impossible to be bored. Although this spring’s weather has left OU students craving sunshine, South Beach has survived as a favorite spot. With May ushering in warmer weather, you can be sure to find me there.
 
Strouds Run photo courtesy of amandagroe on flickr.com

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