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UNM student Alli Arend poses inside of the Student Residence Center Commons on Tuesday, June 21.

5 and Why: 5 suggestions for restful summer activities

The middle of summer can be a nerve-wracking time for students. With half of break near gone and the next semester fast approaching, it can often feel as though we’ve wasted our free time and not done all that we’d planned. However, summer is also a time of rest and relaxation to recharge for the coming semester: the only time in a year where students have the opportunity to be alright with not accomplishing anything.

Incoming University of New Mexico senior Alli Arend offered us five activities she uses to relax over the summer.

Unwind with a movie at home

One of Arend’s favorite activities is unwinding at home with movies, television or even just solo time.

“It’s kind of like my little sanctuary, and I can watch new movies but be in PJs instead of having to, like, dress up to go out,” Arend said.

Many streaming services such as Hulu offer students discounts on monthly memberships for cost-effective options for movies at home. In addition to this, local theaters like the Guild Cinema offer at-home virtual cinema options.

Go rollerskating

Arend is an avid visitor of local skate parks and Skate-O-Mania, Albuquerque’s roller rink featured in the new season of “Stranger Things.”

“(At the roller rink,) you get to share the environment with other cool, like-minded people,” Arend said.

Skate-O-Mania offers numerous events aimed at making skating more accessible to beginners, including lessons and half-priced Wednesdays. A weekly schedule of their events can be found on their website.

Celebrate yourself

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To Arend, Albuquerque Pride was a great opportunity to take time to celebrate herself and the LGBTQ+ community; summer offers the opportunity to take this self-love beyond the festival.

“You don’t have to have a march or a festival to celebrate who you are,” Arend said.

To celebrate your pride at UNM, consider getting involved with the LGBTQ Student Resource Center or Queer Student Alliance. To stay up to date on events and resources, sign up for their newsletter on their website.

Explore campus

When you spend everyday somewhere during the school year, it’s easy to miss the beauty all around you. Exploring those serene areas of campus we miss during the hustle and bustle recenters yourself, allowing you to relax. Arend particularly likes spending time at the UNM Duck Pond.

“The ducks are always fun because they’re either chasing a child, and that’s always fun, or they’re just vibing on the side,” Arend said.

This summer, take the time to watch the ducks and turtles, allowing yourself to slow down without the pressure of deadlines looming over you. While you’re at it, check out the fountain grotto on Zimmerman Library’s southwestern side — it’s these areas that you can return to throughout the year to remember yourself.

Spend time in nature

While it’s kind of out of the way (and currently closed due to the ongoing wildfire crisis in New Mexico), Arend also enjoys spending time at the top of the Sandia Mountains.

“You get a lot less light pollution, so you get to see a lot of the stars, and it’s always nice to be above everything else and gain perspective,” Arend said.

Beyond the Sandias, Albuquerque residents are encouraged to check out other natural spaces in and around town, including the Bosque, Cibola National Forest, Petroglyph National Monument and Elena Gallegos Park. Close to campus, consider visiting Spruce Park, a beautiful neighborhood park with plenty of shade and seating for you and your friends.

With these ideas in mind, Arend is ready to take this summer by calm and reflective storm, and she hopes other UNM students can do the same.

Spenser Willden is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @spenserwillden

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