Things To Do In Harrisonburg, VA If You Stayed for Summer Classes

15 Things Around Harrisonburg, VA That Will Make Your Maymester Classes Worth The Stay

Check some things off your bucket list this Maymester.

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While Maymester can seem dreadful after finishing a long and exhausting semester, it's also the perfect time to try some new things around Harrisonburg that you weren't able to get to during the year with a busy schedule.

Here are 15 things to do around Harrisonburg if you stayed for Maymester.

Go to a vineyard/winery

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There are so many local vineyards and wineries around Harrisonburg that are definitely worth trying, especially when the weather is warm and you can sit outside and enjoy the beautiful views of the open land.

Try a new restaurant downtown

Been dying to try that restaurant everyone's been talking about but didn't have time during the school year? Now's your perfect chance when places aren't overcrowded with college students.

Visit the lavender farm

Relax and explore the beautiful lavender gardens around the farm.

Go for a hike

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There are a variety of hiking trails located in the Shenandoah Valley, ranging in length and difficulty. Try a new trail or even take a sunrise hike at Reddish Knob.

Take a trip to Blue Hole

Ever been to a swimming hole? Blue Hole is one of the deepest swimming holes in the area and an experience you don't want to miss out on.

Take advantage of a quiet UREC

Ever experienced UREC when you're not waiting for a spot with your parking hazards on or there aren't thousands of people all trying to work out at the same time as you? It's a whole new feeling.

Enjoy live music at a variety of venues downtown

Harrisonburg is home to tons of live music events at a variety of venues around the area.

Actually get to sit on the quad and relax

Lindsey McEvoy

The end of the school year when the weather warms up gets really crazy and you may not have time to enjoy some relaxation on the quad so now's the perfect time.

Go to an outdoor evening movie at Bold Rock

Bold Rock has a whole schedule of movies playing throughout the summer. Enjoy some cider and relax under the stars.

Inner tubing down the river

Float and relax on the river right down from Port Republic.

Attend the farmer’s market

Looking for some fresh veggies or home-baked goods? This is the perfect place to get local goodies.

Catch some rays at the pool

Most of the apartment complexes have pools if you're looking to relax in the sun and work on that tan.

Go to an Escape Room

Looking to put your brain to work? Check out one of many escape rooms in the Harrisonburg area.

Go on a bar crawl around Downtown Harrisonburg

There's tons of bars and breweries downtown that are worth checking out.

Catch up on all your Netflix/Hulu shows

You finally have some time to yourself to catch up on all of those shows you've been waiting to watch.

These are just a few of the hundreds of things to do around Harrisonburg this May!

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Greek Life Does More Harm Than Good And It's Time We Canceled It

Greek Life is considered an almost essential part of campus culture, but do we really need Greek life?
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If you are a college student in the United States, you will be affected in some way by Greek life.

It doesn't matter whether you want to join or not. When you go to school, you will hear about it all the time. You will hear about which frats throw the best parties, be asked which sorority you are rushing, and see them hosting charity events. And of course, you will hear the criticisms.

It is impossible these days to not hear about the criticisms surrounding Greek life, the most common one being the high rates of sexual assault. There are also the criticisms that it promotes binge-drinking and partying, it fuels nepotism, the hazing, and there have been numerous racist incidents involving fraternities.

If you ask anybody in Greek life though, they will usually tell you these criticisms are overblown. Yes, occasionally there might be some racist jokes. Yes, sometimes a sexual assault might occur, but they will assure you that these are just a few bad apples. Then they will wax poetic about the various benefits of Greek life, how it fosters lifetime friendships, instills good values such as serving the community, and grooms young adults for professional life.

But there is another question you should ask. Who reaps these benefits?

In a study conducted by Princeton University, researchers found that at their school 77% of fraternity members and 73% of sorority members were white, despite making up 47% of the student body. Additionally, 30% and 19% of fraternity and sorority members were legacy admits, meaning they were children of alumni. Obviously, this is only one school and not necessarily reflect the entire United States. Fraternities and sororities do not publish statistics on their demographics, so it is impossible to tell exactly how pervasive this phenomenon is. Nonetheless, it is worrisome and is surprising, considering that the first fraternities were founded by the people that have always been most privileged in our country: white, upper-class men.

You do not need an extensive, university-sponsored study to understand that it is difficult for students of lower incomes to join Greek life. Not only must you maintain a certain GPA, but you must pay monthly dues in order to stay in. These can range in cost from $250 to $775, and that is not counting “new member fees" or “badge fees" that may be added to the overall cost. Additionally, members must attend regular meetings and functions. If somebody comes from a low-income family and has to work in order to make it through college, it will be significantly harder to join Greek life.

Some organizations offer payment plans, but many potential pledges still say this is not enough. This begs the question: is Greek life really creating new leaders, or is it just fostering a culture of nepotism and providing a pathway for those born into privilege to access high-paying jobs more easily? This is not to say it is impossible for someone of lesser means to join, but it is significantly harder.

In recent years, excessive drinking and hazing-related deaths have also caused Greek life to come under fire. It is not uncommon for college students to abuse alcohol, however, members of Greek life are significantly more likely to abuse alcohol. One study by Harvard found that 4 out of 5 fraternity and sorority members are binge-drinkers in comparison to 2 out of 5 overall college students.

Another study at Brown University found that fraternities are often opposed to alcohol education and intervention because they view it as an impediment to their social and sexual goals. Again, this is not to suggest that only Greek life-affiliated students binge-drink. Many college students engage in binge-drinking while they are in school, but they are much more likely to do so if they are involved in Greek life.

These are only some of the problems associated with Greek life. There are many, many more, which I will discuss in next week's article. But for now, I want readers to sit and consider the facts they have been presented with, and ask themselves the kind of mentality that Greek life promotes through its culture of exclusion and binge-drinking.

Cover Image Credit: Stephen F. Austin State University

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5 Vital And Helpful Tips I Live By When Packing For A Trip

Try and pack smarter, not harder.

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If you are anything like me, you tend to overpack thinking you are being a great packer and being ready for any scenario that life may throw at you. Well, that is, unfortunately untrue, and I have learned that you are only doing more harm than good. Over the years, I have come up with five tips I always use when traveling and have been proven to work. You've heard of the five golden rules of life, and, well, these are the five golden rules/tips of packing.


1. Start with a packing list.

This is the best tip I could give to anyone else who is getting ready to travel. Making a list is very useful, especially when stressed about your travel. You will not forget anything because you have it all written down. A packing list is a great way to keep organized when packing.

2. Use space bags.

Now, this is a tip my dad lives by. Space bags are great when you are packing because it protects your clothes and makes room to put a lot in your suitcase. The crazy story of a time when my dad was traveling, and his friend's bag was soaked with the shampoo he brought on the plane. All his clothes and everything inside the suitcase was ruined. So always use space bags because you never know what could happen on the flight. You can buy a space bag here.

3. Pack the essentials first.

I will be honest and say that I do over-pack a lot. I use the line "just in case" as an excuse to pack my entire house. But I have learned that packing for "just in case" is a waste of time. When you first sit down to pack, lay out all your essentials. For example, clothes that you will wear during the trip. You will be surprised to see how effective it is.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Chicago Is The Best City In The World

4. ALWAYS pack an extra outfit in your carry on.

This tip is one that I have been very grateful that I used. A while ago during my trip to Canada, my check-in bag was missing and delayed for multiple hours. Luckily I had an extra outfit to keep me fresh and not feel gross. It is always crucial to this in your carry on In case of emergencies such as your bag getting lost.

5. Put identification on your suitcase.

Everyone in the airport somehow tends to have the same black or red suitcase that you have, which only means confusing when you're trying to find your check-in bag. To quickly identify your suitcase, put a sticker, or tie a ribbon on the handle. You can easily pick up your suitcase and leave. This will prevent any sneaky people trying to steal or claim that your suitcase is theirs.

P.S.: Use a bright color ribbon or a different sticker. Also, tie the ribbon properly to make sure it's secured.


I live by these five packing tips every time I travel so I hope you can use them the next time you take a trip!

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