Spring has sprung! Well, just incase you needed a few more excuses to get outside and enjoy the wonderful weather, here are ten great Spring activities.
1. Start a garden!
Perhaps one of the best things about New Hampshire summers is growing your own produce, flowers, and herbs. Have an apartment? No problem! Many people garden indoors, and there are tons of resources to help you start your own garden. But if you want a proper garden and don’t have the yard, there are shared garden spaces—the Co-op offers a community garden in Norwich, for example—throughout the Upper Valley. If you’re not ready to start your own garden but still want fresh produce, you can always ask your friends with gardens if you can volunteer to help them out in exchange for vegetables—after all, everyone loves some help.
This is the time of the year to start planting, so don’t delay!
2. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to start your spring cleaning!
Don’t be shy: open the windows, air out your apartment, and sort through the piles of junk you’ve accumulated over the winter. I think that giving my apartment a nice, deep cleaning can be quite refreshing, and is often the jump start I need to get over the gloominess of winter.
If the thought of cleaning overwhelms you, or you have an item that needs a little care, but you’re unsure of how to clean it, visit this site, which literally explains how to clean everything.
3. …and, after you’re done spring cleaning, remember to donate!
C’mon, be honest, you don’t need all those old clothes! How about that jewelry you never wear? And what about those bags of candy from Easter that you never opened because you didn’t want to spoil your diet? Remember those books you never read that collect dust next to the sofa? Well, it’s time to find a home for them.
There are lots of organizations that will take your donations and get them to people who need them, like The Listen Center. Whether it be non-perishables, clothing, furniture, or books—donation centers are always looking for usable items. The Graduate Veterans Association is collecting cans for the Claremont Soup Kitchen–summer donations are especially important as youngsters miss out on school lunches.
4. Mountain bike
Do you like going head-first down a mountain at insane speeds? Well, if you enjoy skiing in the winter, you’ll probably love mountain biking! If you’ve got a free afternoon and want to get some exercise, the Upper Valley is filled with scenic trails that wind through the woods and along the Connecticut River. Or, if are looking for a fun way to spend a day off from work, bring your bike to one of Vermont’s ski areas for a day of downhill trail riding.
5. Watch the grass grow… literally
Remember a few months ago when those trees were just sticks? Where on earth did all of these green leaves come from? Look around campus: everything is in full bloom and Dartmouth is teeming with wonderful fragrances. The purple lilacs behind Wentworth—correctly pronounced “lie-locks” for all you “lie-lacks” New Englanders—are as beautiful and fragrant as ever, so be sure to take a moment to stop and smell our state’s flower.
Also, FO&M recently took down all of the ropes that were surrounding all of that beautiful, new grass that I know you have all been dying to nap on!
6. Go to Commencement and some thesis defenses
Want to see first hand that it actually IS possible to graduate? Then go see your fellow peers defend their theses.
Want to see some beautifully dressed, and potentially, extremely famous people? Then go to Commencement!
The thing I like most about commencement is that it reminds me how awesome it is being hunkered down in the wonderful world of academia, and not searching for a job in the private sector.
7. Get ready for a summer filled with gelato!
Ok, Gelato pretty much makes it on every “Top 10” that we publish. However, this time there is more: the interior of Morano Gelato has been expanded, they now offer more flavors, and rumor has it that they will soon be serving sandwiches and wine—it’s the perfect way to escape the summer heat!
8. Go mini golfing
So, you got an ice cream at Fore U—now what? Head on over to their mini golf emporium, nestled right next to Home Depot, and have fun navigating the tunnels, windmills, and water traps that dot their course. Once the sun sets, head on up to Fairlee to catch a double feature at the drive-in movie theater–you know you wanna!
9. Go swimming
Get that blood flowing in the clear waters that surround Hanover. While it’s still a little cold for my liking, give it a few weeks and it will be a bit more palatable.
And, while you’re waiting for the water to warm up, stop by Alumni Gym and start getting in shape for bathing suit season!
10. Enjoy a fair or festival
There are a number of fairs and festivals taking place in New England this season. If you’re looking for something new, look no further than the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival, the NH Music Festival, or the Quechee Balloon Festival. Whatever your interests, there is probably a festival for you within driving distance of campus.
One of my favorites is the Kingdom Farm and Foods Fest (especially the High Mowing Seeds field day). Be on the lookout for brochures that contain most of the festivals for the various states!
by Dan Osipovitch
photos by Wesley Whitaker