Written by Kelsey Dickerson, Editor-in-Chief
During summer semester, classes can seem like a race to the finish. If you’re taking multiple classes over Maymester or during June and July, you might be in class from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You’ll study for and complete the same amount of work over four or eight weeks that you normally would over 16.
On the weekends, try to let off some steam downtown. Many students stick around campus during fall and spring semester, but you can take the summer to explore everything the city of Valdosta has to offer. If you’re a movie buff or record collector, check out Red Door Records and Cinema on Patterson street, where owner Jessica Ganas offers a collection of vintage records and CDs. On the weekends, the shop opens its doors to movie goers of both classic films and recent box office hits.
If you’re feeling peckish, the downtown area is also full of great restaurants, no matter your budget. Students who are low on cash will find something at Kings Grill, a diner that first opened its doors in 1941 and hasn’t changed since. At night, you’ll find the best burgers and live music in town at the Bleu Pub, where burgers and brews are available until 2 a.m. on weekends. You can even treat yourself and your friends to an upscale meal on the rooftop of Steel Magnolias, a southern comfort restaurant with a fancy twist.
Valdosta and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer students seeking time in the great outdoors, too. The Blue Springs in Madison, Florida, are just a 30-minute drive south. You can swim through the natural spring waters and explore trails through the woods. This park even offers a maze of caves, where those with the proper certification can explore.
Closer to VSU, The Grand Bay Wildlife Preserve in Valdosta offers a cost-free way to get close with nature. Moody Airforce Base runs the preserve, which is open to the public during the day time. Kayaking trails and foot paths through the swamp can lead to close encounters with wildlife like turtles, ducks and alligators. Visitors can follow the well-maintained boardwalk up to an observation tower that overlooks the entire preserve
A walk on the wild side can also be found at Wild Adventures, a theme park just south of VSU. The park houses roller coasters for every age, animal shows, and live concerts. During the summer, the park opens up its Splash Island water park to guests trying to beat the heat.
Though Campus may seem dormant during the summer, many groups still hold events. Check your emails and flyers posted around your classes for event schedules.
Peach State Summer Theatre, often called PSST!, will take place in VSU’s Sawyer Theatre starting in June. This year PSST! will present “Shrek The Musical,” “Forever Plaid” and “My Fair Lady.” Tickets are $26 for students, but each play will have its own “Pay What You Can” performance. Dates can be found on the VSU website.