Recently, USA Today posted a short and sweet guide about what to do when you’ve only got 20 minutes between classes. Twenty minutes, very specifically: thirty minutes gives you enough time to watch a television show, while ten minutes offers you the options of visiting the bathroom or grabbing a drink at the water fountain.
I wondered: how can we spend 20 minutes at OCU? What makes our quarter-hour-plus-change so special?
1) See who’s hanging out in Alvin’s
Twenty minutes might not be enough time to actually grab food at Alvin’s (because we all know that those lines can stretch to infinity during busy periods). But it gives you time enough to visit the common areas in front of and behind the Cafe to see if any of your friends happen to be killing time as well. I’ve often seen aimless souls wandering the outskirts of Alvin’s, looking for friends with which to while away those awkward between-times. Catch up with your people, or simply people watch. Twenty minutes will go by in nothing flat.
2) Enjoy the weather*
Many of us at OCU find ourselves locked within four walls from dawn till dark. Whether it’s running between class and practice or voice lessons and rehearsals, OCU students are nothing if not busy–and vitamin D deprived. If you’ve got twenty minutes, consider spending them outside. Yes, outside. Remember what that looks like? Fluffy green things, lots of red dirt, and the occasional open bench. Take a seat and indulge in a moment of sunshine and bliss.
*Caveat: the weather in Oklahoma is nothing if not changeable. If you’ve actually got a sunny day, thank your lucky stars and bask in bliss. If you’re willing to spend 20 minutes out in torrential downpours or roaring winds…well, you’re a braver soul than I.
3) Call your mother
Sad, but true: for some of us, the first thing to be erased from the To-Do List during busy seasons is checking in with Mom and Dad. But if you’ve got a free twenty minutes, call up your parents for a quick chat. You’ll be able to get a nice little pick-me-up for the rest of your day, and if the discussion gets rough, you can (quite honestly) reply that you’re sorry, but you’ve got to run to class.
4) Drop everything and read
Ever find yourself you could read more, but bemoaning that your schedule is just too darn busy? No more excuses: the 20 minute reading period has arrived. Carry a book in your bag with you (smaller is usually better; too large, and you’ll toss it out in order to fit in Physics homework). Whenever you’ve got a spare moment, break out the book and get lost somewhere else. On a gloomy day like this, I’m tempted to bring out stories of travel to Paris and Italy, and wish myself somewhere warm, sunny, and full of baguettes. Hey, a girl can dream.
5) Move it, move it
Studies have proved, time and again, that physical activity is key to a healthy mind, body, and self-image. But it’s hard to go to the gym after a long day; Netflix and Ben and Jerry’s seem so much more inviting when stress levels are high. A good compromise? Get a little bit of extra activity in in these spare moments. Walk up and down the steps in the Wanda L. Bass Music Center, and feel your heart start pumping. Or plug in your earbuds and speed walk around campus. You might even take the time to do a few yoga stretches in some secluded class room–or, if you’re a brave soul and the weather’s fine, right out on the quad. A little bit of exercise might help to brighten your outlook for the whole day. In fact, I’m tempted to take this tip right now: in a day filled with Daylight Savings Time confusion, rain, and a harsh case of the Mondays, it’s either exercise or eight more cups of coffee. Somehow, I think one of those might be a bit better for my cardiac health.
How do you plan on spending your OCU Twenty?