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Top 10 fun things to do in Charlottesville before the semester ends

A guide for bridging the gap between now and the end of a long semester

If you are someone that does not always feel motivated to workout alone, trying a new group workout class might just be the thing for you.
If you are someone that does not always feel motivated to workout alone, trying a new group workout class might just be the thing for you.

As the end of the semester approaches, I am sure you might be feeling burnt out and starting to simply go through the motions. Fear not — here is a list of ways to spice up the mundane, making the final stretch of the semester a bit more bearable. 

1. Go to the Charlottesville City Market on a Saturday morning 

The Charlottesville City Market is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through November. It is the perfect way to get fresh air, buy some fresh produce and support local artists and businesses. Walking around the market is fun with a group of friends, but it is also a lovely activity to do by yourself if you are in need of some quiet time away from the chaos of school. 

2. Hike Humpback Rock 

Given the widely-shared adoration of Humpback Rock among students of the University, I feel like a slight fraud for admitting that I have not hiked it yet, but it is true. Therefore, it is also on my own personal list of things to do before the end of the semester. I intend to do a sunrise hike to not only enjoy the beautiful view but to also get some Instagram-worthy pictures. If you have not participated in this tradition adored by students, then carving out time to do it before the end of the semester is an exciting way to break up your routine. 

3. Indulge in late night pizza from Christian’s Pizza

There is nothing as delicious and reviving than a slice of late night Christian’s Pizza. The warm cheese fills my soul with nothing short of sheer joy; as soon as I have my slice of cheese pizza, everything feels right in the world. If you have not experienced this joy yet, you are seriously missing out. By the end of the semester, you are most definitely in need of a study break — that extra reading can wait until tomorrow. Instead, grab your friends for a late night slice of heaven. 

4. Romanticize your walks around Grounds

Walking to your classes is the ideal time to romanticize your life — there is no denying that walking by the Rotunda while walking to class is a major main character moment. It is a moment that reminds me of how amazing my school is, giving me a much needed boost of confidence as the deadlines and exams continue to pile up. The main character energy of walking around Grounds only increases with the changing colors of the leaves on the trees and the drop in temperature. Put on your favorite sweater, grab a coffee and listen to Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” for the full effect.

5. Have a picnic on the Lawn 

I love walking by the Lawn and seeing so many different people enjoying the Lawn — some are studying, some are eating with friends and some are simply sitting alone and getting a dose of sunshine. Personally, I think there is nothing better than grabbing your favorite Bodo’s order and sitting on the Lawn with a friend — you can even do this between classes or study sessions, making it an easy way to get outside during the bleak approach of finals season. 

6. Explore a used bookstore 

If you’re anything like me, then you love collecting as many stacks of books as possible. Nevertheless, I do not appreciate the beauty of used bookstores as much as I should. You never know what you might stumble across, which only makes browsing that much more fun. The next time you are on the corner, stop by Heartwood Books to find something new and unexpected to add to your collection beyond academic texts. 

7. Study from a coffee shop off-Grounds 

While sometimes I benefit from studying in libraries and academic buildings on-Grounds, I also find these environments to be a bit stressful at times. If you are able to, escaping to a coffee shop that is farther away from Grounds and the Corner, like the Grit Coffee at the Shops at Stonefield can be a nice way to switch up your study routine and create distance from the stressful culture of the University. 

8. Attend Lighting of the Lawn 

This year’s Lighting of the Lawn will take place on Dec. 1. As we are all trying to reach the finish line of the semester, this is definitely something to look forward to — it is an amazing University tradition and an exciting way to celebrate the semester and all the things that make the University special. Enjoying performances from student-groups and seeing the Rotunda in holiday lights is such a fantastic boost before finals, reminding me of the joy of winter break on the other side—I know I will be there. 

9. Try a new workout class

The busy nature of life at the University can make it way too easy to forgo your usual exercise routine. If you are someone that does not always feel motivated to workout alone, trying a new group workout class might just be the thing for you. The Aquatic and Fitness Center offers a wide variety of classes to try, like cycling, yoga, barre and boxing. Students can drop-in for a single class for $7 and can purchase unlimited classes for $20 per month. 

10. Make a new friend 

The beauty of attending the University and living in Charlottesville is that there is an endless number of people chasing their own passions and goals. This inherently lends itself to so many opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. Say hi to someone in your lecture or the person behind you in a coffee shop — you never know where it might lead. I cannot think of a better way to end a long semester than with a new friend, making you even more excited to return to Grounds for the spring semester. 

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