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Take advantage of UH, Houston while in college

Houston has a lot to offer in terms of things to do. Activities range from leisurely to professional sports games to outdoor. | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/user: Urban~commonswiki

Houston has a lot to offer in terms of things to do. Activities range from leisurely to professional sports games to outdoor. | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/user: Urban~commonswiki

This is most likely my last column for The Cougar before I graduate, and I owe a lot of my time in college to this newspaper. But my college experience is not only the newspaper — I’ve done a lot of other things that have shaped my college experience.

College, as I have learned, is about taking as many opportunities and experiencing as much as possible. Living these years to the fullest requires a willingness to go out and see what happens whenever those opportunities are taken.

Though the semester is almost over, the summer is coming up, and for those of you not graduating there are a multitude of opportunities you should take.


A college campus revolves around the classes we all take. Many times, campus is seen as the place where you take classes or live or do whatever is done during the day.

One thing I’ve always enjoyed is sitting outside after class in the sun (usually drinking a coffee or a kombucha, which is great and anyone who says otherwise is wrong and needs to change their opinion. Also, kombucha is really healthy and improves your gut health).

Sitting by the fountains or in Lynn Eusan Park is one of the most relaxing parts of college. And — to paraphrase the best medical show of all time, “Scrubs” — everyone should take some time and lay in the sun.

Along with all the opportunities to enjoy yourself, there are a wealth of opportunities to volunteer. Look to the Metropolitan Volunteer Program for volunteering options around the Third Ward and at locations close to UH (even though you will have to wait until the beginning of the semester).

There are other opportunities that happen throughout the year. The Houston Food Bank has year-round opportunities for those interested in volunteering. Volunteering is not only good for others, but it is very good for your own mental health.

Take these campus opportunities when possible because the campus is much more than just the classes we attend. Not to say that classes are not important, but there’s much more to our beautiful campus than the everyday business we’re used to.

In the city

Houston has a lot to offer, and at times Houstonians tend to overlook the many opportunities and experiences it presents. When I was graduating from high school, I was always under the impression Houston was a do-nothing city. But that’s just not the case when it comes to reality.

There are a lot of great coffee shops in Houston that allow you to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. These are some of the best experiences, especially when surrounded by friends.

As summer begins, look outside to all the things Houston has to offer. Now, when it’s sweltering hot outside, the outdoors can seem like a terrible place to be for your health. But being outside can help reduce stress, and college students all need less stress. Think of Hermann Park or some of the nature trails surrounding the city. This summer, take some time to relax outside. Next semester, do the same thing.

One of the most fun things to do in the city, no matter who you are, is to attend a game of one of the professional sports teams. Right now, Astros and Dynamo games are happening. Both sports are fun to watch for different reasons.


Going to a Dynamo game is a lot of fun because the action never stops, and it’s not a very long commitment. Tickets can be cheap because the Dynamo offers some great deals. Even if you don’t enjoy soccer, it’s still a fun time, as El Batallon plays throughout the game (a lot of “Karma Chameleon” and “Wonderwall”).

Astros games are equally as fun but much more relaxed. The slow pace of the game contributes to a very relaxing but fun time.

There’s a lot on the UH campus and throughout Houston to experience. At the end of my college experience, I’m glad that I took the time to experience many things in the years I had here. College is much more than academics, even though that’s an incredibly important part.

Make sure to take your college years and do as much as possible.

Opinion Editor Jorden Smith is a political science and creative writing senior and can be reached at [email protected].

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