Top 10 ways to embrace spring

Prepare for pollen, parties and unreliable weather patterns

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Paige Waterhouse is a Top 10 writer for The Cavalier Daily.

Emma Klein | Cavalier Daily

1.Go hiking

Spring has finally sprung! And there is no better way to celebrate its arrival than to go immerse yourself in nature. Get lost in the knotted map of O’Hill Trails or wake up early for a Humpback Rock sunrise hike. Smell the fresh, pollen-polluted air. Sing with the birds while swatting away mosquitoes. Enjoy sweating profusely underneath a bright, sunny sky, only to be soaked minutes later by an unexpected April shower. Experience all these famous attractions only in “The Great Outdoors.”

2. Visit IX Art Park

IX Art Park is definitely worth a visit if you need a break from spring semester studies. Take some Insta-worthy pictures with your friends up against a colorful mural or attend one of the multitudes of events they have scheduled for the warmer days ahead. Don’t consider yourself an aesthete? Grab yourself some tacos at Brazos while your friends appreciate the aesthetics. They may be more cultured than you, but you’re the one with a happy stomach. 

3. Take a stroll through the East and West Gardens

Immerse yourself in nature again? Yes, but note the use of the word “stroll.” This one is for all you fellow nature lovers who aren’t up for a vigorous climb, but still want to appreciate Mother Nature’s spring collection. Seek out the gardens that line both the east and west sides of the Lawn. Enjoy a casual tour of the flora, sit down and study a while or maybe lay on a sun-soaked blanket and take a nap.

4. Enjoy a picnic on the Lawn

Take part in a classic University tradition by packing up some food, snagging an old blanket, grabbing a friend and heading to the heart of Grounds — the Lawn. Spread out on the grassy field underneath the shadow of the Rotunda while enjoying a meal surrounded by your fellow Hoos. You’ll feel happy, prestigious and most of all, a sense of belonging. Just don’t embarrass yourself by trying — and failing — to throw a rogue frisbee back to its owner.

5. Watch the race at Foxfield

If you don’t mind a few inches of squishy, muddy grass ruining your cute spring shoes, then head to the races! A day at Foxfield could be fun — if it’s not sweltering hot or pouring rain. Either way, how often do you get to see horses? And no, driving by a field on a long car trip doesn’t count. So brave the mud, and try to make it to the spring race.

6. Shop around Charlottesville City Market

If you didn’t make it to Charlottesville City Market this past fall, you must make it a priority this spring. Shop around for some crafty gifts or try some delicious, homemade pastries. Come out and support small, local businesses while interacting with some of the nicest people you will ever meet. The sea of colorful pop-up tents returns in April and is open each Saturday morning. 

7. Party at Tom Tom Festival

The annual Tom Tom Festival hits the Downtown Mall April 8-14, and there is so much to do! There will be art, food and music, with each category having a variety of contests, workshops and presentations. Get competitive, learn a new skill or just enjoy a day in the Charlotteville community. 

8. Stock up on tissues

Pollen is coming — the allergy victims remember. Now is the time to stock up on tissues, eye drops and any type of allergy medication you can find. The fresh air and blue skies may seem pleasant, but the sneezing and itchy eyes can strike at anytime. We must be ready.

9. Wear spring clothes

Warmer weather calls for a wardrobe shift, so it’s time to bring out the bright colors. Embrace the shorts, sandals and sundresses you put away last fall in preparation for winter. Although, some of you never made the switch — how you managed to hold onto your coral shorts through 30 degree weather is beyond me, but I guess you proved something? 

10. Realize the school year is coming to a close

Spring serves as the harbinger of summer’s close proximity. Another school year has almost come and gone, and though we still have a few weeks left, time seems to be ticking faster than ever. So, if you’re feeling sad about leaving your University home soon, take advantage of the precious time you have left here. Try your best to soak up the spring surrounded by your friends.

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