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Thursday, May 23, 2024

As college students, it’s easy to become myopic in our priorities: When we’re contending with 15-credit-hour semesters, involvement in various extracurricular endeavors and looming exams while trying to maintain our sanity and questionably healthy bodies, it can become easy to forget that we need to LIVE from time to time. When operating in this fashion, “no” can become a very easy word to throw around. “No,” as in, “No, as much as I love you and value your friendship, I can’t make it out to that conference where you’ll be delivering a speech, as I have to schedule the next two weeks worth of Facebook posts for *insert student organization of choice here.*” Or “no,” as in, “I know it’s your birthday weekend and you’ll be throwing a decadent ‘Broad City’-themed party in your own honor, but no, I can’t make it to Orlando on account of, well, my accounting exam five days afterward.”

We get it, readers: As a news-oriented publication that prints on a daily basis, we’re all too familiar with pressing deadlines, having to consider future obligations we have no idea may be waiting in the wings, and having to drop everything at a moment’s notice to ensure the paper is up-to-date and timely. But we also know that all work and no play makes the Alligator a dull publication. While we may not be hosting drug-fueled dance parties in our soon-to-be-vacated office — although there’s no time like the present — we’d like to think we have a solid grip on letting loose when the demands of work necessitate such actions.

Along this line of logic, we’d like to propose a not-so-radical idea: Get the hell out of Gainesville from time to time. Don’t get us wrong, we love this city: whether it’s the vast and gorgeous landscape offered by Paynes Prairie, the giggle-inducing idiocy that can be observed at Midtown or the lovable chain smoking weirdos of downtown, Gainesville is far from lacking in entertainment, culture and other socially-fulfilling ventures. That being said, as students who reside in and along the university, we’re pretty hard-pressed to spend a single day in Gainesville without passing that iconic and easily-identifiable gothic architecture of the main campus and/or the various satellite campuses; As relaxing as it is to spend a day at Lake Wauburg, you’re still going to see a sign denoting it’s UF property before you ever dip your toes in the water.

Relaxation and relief — or at least EFFECTIVE relaxation — should not be on the terms of the very institution that’s causing your stress in the first place. Getting out of Gainesville means school can actually become out of mind and out of sight, an all but impossible prospect in Gainesville. May we suggest Tallahassee, where their house parties — at least of the non-Greek variety — wipe the floor with ours. If you’re trying to drunkenly debate the merits of the influence of Tumblr on modern art before getting the best soul food you’ve ever had as a hangover cure, perhaps Savannah, Georgia, home to the Savannah College of Art and Design, will prove a refreshing alternative.

Just because being a college student is demanding doesn’t mean one should ignore their internal imperative to enjoy themselves. Overused quotes about traveling broadening the mind and the soul aside, it’s a hell of a lot of fun, too.

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