The Daily Gamecock

Opinion: Take walks on campus

With the stress of course work piling up, a lack of parking or a late shuttle can turn a stressful day into a total meltdown. 

But it doesn’t have to. 

With the right attitude and a little planning, the logistical bane of a sprawled out, walking campus can instead be turned into a boon. Instead of trying to fight it, make the problem work for you by building some “me time” into your commute.

Finding reliable parking a little farther away and taking a walk instead of a shuttle not only brings a stable routine to your life, but also offers some mental and physical benefits. 

Plus, USC's campus has some enjoyable scenery throughout the year.

According to studies in the Journal of Psychiatric Research and the Journal of Experimental Psychology, a brief hike five times a week can reduce depression and stress as efficiently as some medications. As a bonus, going on a hike stimulates creativity. So if you were stuck on a problem then you may find the answer on a walk.

It doesn’t only have to be to and from the house that you hike around campus to improve your studies. Walking around campus, particularly after meals, will ensure you’re more alert in class. If you want to work it into your lunch break, pack a meal that can be eaten on the go. For those economically motivated, hiking boosts the metabolism to get you ready for the next class without resorting to buying a third cup of coffee.

Hiking around campus can also lead to greater flexibility with the unexcused absence policy. As a result of being exposed to the elements, those who do more walking around tend to get sick less often and for less time. This keeps you in class and saves those absences for emergencies.

Then there are simply the long-term benefits. These short hikes are a joint friendly way to maintain health because they introduce oxygen into your joints and remove the waste. 

Sitting in class all day isn’t ergonomically friendly, nor does it teach you how to deal with joint pain later in life. But then again, not all lessons in college are learned in the classroom.