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Surviving the spring: a post-break survival guide

Like the drops of rain in the gently-falling April showers, the minutes of spring break fell away one by one until they were gone at last. Now, the month and a half until the end of the year looms ominously over the Miami student body like a dark and foreboding storm.

So, what can be done to break up this long and arduous stretch of school?

Despite the fact that there isn't a single holiday that grants Miamians a day off of school between now and the beginning of summer, there are several ways that the studious slog can be circumvented, at least temporarily.

Now that the weather is warming up, and the last, icy vestiges of winter are disappearing slowly but surely, the season of outdoor recreation has finally come. For those more active and adventurous individuals, the tried and true options of going to the Rec center or taking a jog down the streets of Oxford are always available. But for anyone seeking outdoor activity, the lands around Oxford are surprisingly accommodating.

The Bluffs, a set of high, well, bluffs that can be found in Peffer Park, just off Miami's campus provide enterprising hikers with an opportunity to escape the flat terrain of Ohio farmland. The trails that wind through The Bluffs take hikers high above a meandering creek and provide an excellent view of the lush woods and water below. For anyone looking to take a break or breather, hammocking a bit back from the edge of the cliff can be both relaxing and exhilarating.

Oxford also offers several hands-on activities for anyone looking to escape their house or dorm. Two places of particular interest are You're Fired, the ceramics shop Uptown, and Oxford Lanes, the bowling alley housed in an unassuming little building just outside town.

You're Fired gives customers the chance to paint their own ceramics; bowls, mugs, statues and more are all on offer and can be styled and painted with any color. Meanwhile, Oxford Lanes provides lots of activity without the humidity of the outdoors.

With the approach of warmer days, the season of recreation brings with it parties and festivities. Local bands and musicians bounce from house to house, playing concerts in garages and basements. It can be tricky to nail down the exact time a band will be playing at any one venue, but an evening of music in the smaller, more low-key locale of a house can be a great thing after a week of schoolwork and studying.

Finally, there are a certain set of spring events available only to those who own a car or can snag a ride with friends.

While many lament the lack of a movie theater here in Oxford, the Holiday Auto Theatre, a 1950s-style drive-in, is just a quick trip from Miami. The cute and kitschy theatre offers the latest movies at a venue unlike many others. On any rainy or cold nights, the City of Hamilton, a few miles southeast of Oxford, offers the AMC Classic Hamilton 8 movie theater. Tickets are $5.99 for adults, making them affordable enough, provided that any would-be movie goers can make the drive.

Nearby Cincinnati might take a little longer to get to than other activities, but the variety and excitement of a city can be a welcome change after weeks in small-town Oxford. From museums to restaurants, shows to shops, The Queen City has nearly everything that a fun-seeking Miamian would need to make for a fantastic weekend out.

Despite the occasional shower or blustery day, the warmth that comes hot on the heels of spring brings with it a time of excitement and activity. If the lack of days off proves too much to bear, making your own holiday by taking a personal day is perfectly valid from time to time. Spring is a time of growth, activity, and above all else, getting through the rest of the school year.

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