Katelyn Liston, Reporter

By: Katelyn Liston, Reporter

Returning to school can mean stressful classes, little time for friends, and restricted ability to participate in any physical activity. Despite these challenges, students can participate in semi-athletic group activities and plan around this. Strategic planning allows students to hang out with friends and be active at the same time, which ultimately leaves more time in their busy schedules.

Students have many options when planning group activities: surfing, walking, biking, skating, swimming, and hiking are all activities which multiple people can enjoy and participate in. Some seasonal places to go with friends which will give a bit of a workout but still be fun are Halloween Horror Nights, Petrified Forest, and UCF ice skating. These pastimes are inexpensive, done in groups, and for the most part easy to plan.

Sophomore Anila Mehdihassan says, “Classes take up a lot of time, especially core classes; some classes require you to take about two to three hours a night and the amount of homework teachers give you can be really overwhelming. I think that [being] able to do [group activities] after school gives you something else to do instead of school, school, school, study, study, study. It gives you something else to think about and another outlet.”

Planning these activities allow students to take a break from school and are important since school can become very stressful and impact health dramatically. Stress affects the brain, immune system, digestive system, growth process, mood, and more. Leisure and exercise activities are an easy way to avoid stress and therefore improve and maintain health.

Lauren Ritter, a junior who is in Debate Club, Beta Chi, and is the president of the Gay-Straight Alliance, is always extremely busy. Ritter says, “I would agree [group activities] are a good way to get away from your classes; most of us are in stressful classes and without these opportunities may not be able to manage.”

Along with emotional well-being, students should also plan for activities that can enable them to stay active and in shape. In addition to reducing stress, exercise can improve sleep, extend one’s life, and prevent several fatal disorders. Small group activities allow students to have fun with friends and also exercise. Walking around a theme park for the day or roller skating at a local rink with friends are easy supplements.

Sophomore Adrian Sakr stays both stress-free and active by playing soccer in two different groups and going to universal with friends on weekends.

Both staying in shape and having fun can be tough when faced with a busy schedule, but this can be easily avoided. Through common methods of getting active, students can have fun while ensuring a healthy lifestyle and eliminating stress.