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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

BENNETT: Time to Try Something New

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Photo by Isabel Bonebrake

Summer break is the best and worst part of the year. On one hand, the responsibilities and anxiety that go along with the school year are no longer there, but on the other hand, summer days can end up filled with working an internship or a mind-numbing minimum wage job. 

Like some Marquette students, I returned to my hometown. Suburban life in Wilmette, Illinois feels dull and regressive, especially after spending two semesters surrounded by the excitement of Milwaukee. In fact, it only took me three days at home to begin the countdown for my return to campus. Needless to say, my mental health during summer break can take some hits. In the beginning, I tried my usual coping mechanisms, but face masks and “Drag Race” reruns can really only work for so long. 

Throughout my mental health journey, I’ve talked with many healthcare professionals about how to improve my mood through lifestyle choices. Eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep are some ways to improve a lifestyle.

Additionally, making time to get out and about, especially in nature, can improve your mental health. Personally, without access to Marquette’s gym during the summer, I’m left with only a few options on how to get in a workout.

That was until I discovered “Hot Girl Walks” on TikTok. While the name may sound deceiving, these walks are for everyone. The concept is simple: go on a walk in your best workout fit, turn on your favorite playlist and pretend you’re on a runway. When you walk like you’re the hottest person in the room, it engages your core and your superiority complex.

My hot walks usually take me down Green Bay Trail or to the local dog beach, but for those in Milwaukee this summer, there are a few treasures in the city that you need to discover.

If you’re looking for something close to campus, Downtown Books is a cozy used bookstore where you can find your next summer read. There is also Mod Gen, a modern general store, where the nicest people can help you find a sustainable substitute or a new houseplant. 

You can also make goals for each week that can be done no matter where you are from. For example, each walk could end in a new coffee shop to try out. You don’t always need to plan or have a goal in mind for each walk, either. If you have a dog, let them choose what direction to go or you can let traffic lights dictate whether you go left or right. Hot Girl Walks are endlessly customizable!

According to research published in the “Journal of Positive Psychology” in 2018, finding a hobby, especially creative ones, can increase happiness that can last until the next day. This might sound niche, but I have always wanted to learn how to crochet my own tank top, so I did. After all, why buy a crochet top for $60 at Urban Outfitters when I could make it myself? In fact, it turned out to be one of the best hobbies I’ve tried picking up, even if my aunt calls me “Granny” now.

My anxiety and ADHD cause me to constantly fidget or pick at my skin, so having something productive and creative to do with my hands like crocheting has really helped. After lots of YouTube tutorials that were clearly catered to an older audience, I’m now almost finished with my first top. Though it’s ugly, as there are some parts where you can clearly see I messed up, and it doesn’t really fit right, I tried something I’ve always wanted to do and that has to count for something. 

If crocheting doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you can try out reading for fun, joining a Facebook group and causing chaos, trying out some new recipes, or joining a club sports team. The goal is to get you out of your comfort zone and into a space where you can learn from others. 

If you are ever wondering what hobby you should try out, just follow your gut and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect at it right away. Even with my new hobbies, I’m still excited to come back to campus and see friends, but I’m no longer counting down the days.

This story was written by Caroline Bennett. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Caroline Bennett, Executive Producer of Marquette Lately
Caroline Bennett is a senior from Wilmette, Illinois studying digital media with minors in political science and business administration in the honors program and is serving as the Executive Entertainment Producer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Before this position she served as Assistant Entertainment Producer and Production Assistant. Outside of the Wire she's an active member of Alpha Phi Eta Mu and loves scriptwriting and reading for fun. She is excited to make fun shows with her friends on the Wire and help the next group of Lately leadership.

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