|Enjoy the sights of Normal|
|Written by Daily Vidette Editorial Board|
|Thursday, 26 April 2012 15:52|
With the end of the semester quickly approaching, most of us will spend the last two weeks of school holed up at the Club or chained to our desk chairs studying. This weekend might be your last chance to enjoy yourself before you go crazy with the stress of final projects, papers, and tests.
The good news is that there is a lot to take in here in Bloomington–Normal, and any number of activities could serve as much needed de-stressors or a last hurrah before you return home for the summer.
The first on our list is a childhood favorite. If you have not yet visited Miller Park Zoo, go. Even though it’s not quite as large as, say, Brookfield Zoo, they have all the big animals and more. You can get up close and personal with some meerkats, stroll alongside kangaroos in the Wallaby Walkabout, see tropical birds fly overhead as you walk through a rainforest, or stop by and say hello to the big cats. While it is just a short distance from campus, you’ll feel miles away from that daunting pile of work.
Another way to reduce stress and shake that cabin fever feeling is to get outside. Try packing a lunch and go to any of the beautiful parks surrounding campus. Perhaps you still need to check playing a game of Frisbee on the Quad off of your college to-do list.
Better yet, check out Constitution Trail. One of our own, Professor Bob Bradley, guided the installation of six signs placed along the 24 miles of trail. The sites along the trail are scenic and relaxing and there’s nothing like some exercise to get you out of your funk (time to pay homage to the rec, too).
If the grand outdoors isn’t exactly your style, check out some of the Bloomington–Normal theaters and treat yourself to a movie. Starplex is fairly close and there you can even choose a D-BOX seat, a seat that moves along with whatever insane action flick you’ve picked. And then there’s the historic Normal Theater, which is within walking distance.
Some other indoor options would be to hit up the mall for a little retail therapy, check out a pottery painting place for some art time, or even go bowling. If the Bowling and Billiards Center is packed, that could be a good excuse to try an off-campus bowling alley like AMF Circle Lanes near Eastland Mall, which has nightly specials and offers several options for food and drink. And though it’s not the healthiest option, what better way to relax than with some comfort food. Grab a burger at ISU’s most popular standby, the Pub II, or venture to Ireland at Maggie Miley’s. You could even stay home in your pajamas and pay tribute to the Pokey Stix or D.P. Dough tradition.
Perhaps the best food for de-stressing is, of course, dessert. Emack and Bolio’s is, as their slogan says, “ice cream for the connoisseur.” With a laid back rock and roll atmosphere you can enjoy limitless combinations of toppings and flavors. Or try a local favorite, Carl’s, or a large chain like Cold Stone.
Finally, if you’re of legal drinking age, there’s nothing like a last night out with your friends. Spice it up by going to a bar you’ve never been to before or trying something you’ve never had at your old standby. If you’re feeling really pumped for a night out, grab your best friends and have your own mini bar crawl in celebration of your time at ISU.
Whether you choose to do one or all of the above, you’re sure to feel better for it. Don’t think of it as procrastination — think of it as a necessary investment in your sanity.