Swing into a new year the right way … in a hammock

There are a few trends at Loras that a student might notice when they come. Among them are Birkenstock, Mason Jars, skateboards/longboards, and hammocks. Easily confused for hipsters, these trends each have great purposes. For example, the skateboards and longboards help scale the monstrous hills that are slowly turning your calves into the most rock solid muscle in your body. The convenience of slipping on Birkenstocks allow us to kick back and chill in the grass. And while each and every one of these is a great idea, hammocks are particularly so, and I am happy to tell you why hammocks are a great investment.

So, it’s a bright September day, just warm enough for t-shirt and shorts, yet there is still a cool breeze. This would be the perfect opportunity to spend some time with friends. Yet, there’s just one problem: all your friends have class at different times than you, leaving you with absolutely nothing to do. The effort of walking back to your room is overwhelming. Instead, take out the lightweight hammock in your backpack and set it up in the ARC lawn or perhaps even the Loras Forest.

During the downtime, you can listen to your favorite music, study, catch up on emails, call your mom, or even take a nap. I’ve personally spent many an afternoon on the ARC lawn enjoying the sunshine with my friends. We laugh, we play music, we welcome everyone who comes by, have a ton of fun and enjoy our beautiful campus.  Yes, people stare but we just smile and wave boys, we just smile and wave.

There are so many fun brands of hammocks with fantastic color schemes. My personal favorite is WiseOwl and it was only $25 on Amazon. It doesn’t get better than this. You have a chance to show off your hammock while getting some relaxing time. Adjusting to a new schedule is always a hurdle that I dread each year, but having some time for myself to sit back and relax always makes life easier.

But the opportunity to use this hammock is not limited to the Loras Campus. Places such as the Mines of Spain, Galena or Washington Park have trees in forests or over rivers. If you want a bit of a challenge, you could climb Horseshoe Bluff with your hammock and set it up to overlook the magnificent view. This might not be the ideal location for everyone, but it certainly is an adventure and one of my favorite memories of hammocking last school year.

Overall, whether or not using your hammock is meant to comfortably kill time between classes or assist on a wild adventure, it is a great opportunity for you to take some much-needed time for yourself and “hang out.”

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