Summer: Outdoor Activities

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Summer’s coming up. There’s a lot of cool things to do! Here are some options

Hiking
There’s tons of cool places to go hiking in and around LA. From anywhere as close as Griffith Park or all the way into Malibu, there’s places to explore. But what’s really cool is hiking where the waterfalls are. Click on the link for a list of really cool places to hike this summer.

Rentals
Bikes and segways and tricycles, oh my. And that’s not all. Roller skates, scooters, and skateboards too! There’s multiple rental places lining the beaches of LA. They’re great for a date or just to go spend some time with friends on the beach. The best part is that it’s pretty cheap too!

Beach Yoga
Beach yoga is a really great way to spend a few hours on the beach while also getting a little exercise in. With classes every week, you can pick and choose when you want to go. Just bring a yoga mat (or towel), make a donation, and spend a couple hours basking in yoga glory.

Parks
This one is obvious, but definitely not taken advantage of as much as it should. Parks are great! You can go on a run or a bike ride, do your daily workout, walk your cat, read a book, have a picnic, toss a frisbee, and so much more. It’s great for a change of scenery or just to get a few breaths of fresh air every once in a while. Parks are free, so really, why the heck not?

Parasailing
One really close place to go parasailing is right in our very own Marina Del Rey. It’s a lot of fun and fairly inexpensive for such a luxurious activity. If you’re not feeling the marina, try heading out to Malibu or Palm Springs.

Surfing
Surf lessons are ALL over the beaches of LA. You can get a beginner class, intermediate, advanced, and there’s even classes that aren’t classes at all, but just large groups of people who wanna catch some waves together. You don’t even need your own surfboard in this area, because there’s rentals everywhere!

See a movie in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
It’s like a drive in, but better and you can’t bring your car in. Bring blankets, low lying chairs, snacks, even alcohol (IF YOU’RE 21). There’s different showings every couple of weeks and tickets sell out fast, so plan in advance!

Free Outdoor Workouts
If you like to work out, take the sweat out of the gym and into the great outdoors. Venice and Santa Monica have great outdoor workout complexes. Complete with gymnastics rings, vaults, low bars, and more. You can even just bring a mat to do your abs, leg, and arm workouts too.

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Campus Mental Health Resources

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Mental health is a critically important issue that can sometimes slip the mind in the stressful, pressure-cooker environment of college. Fortunately there exists resources on campus that can help you through a tough time or whatever problems you may be facing. With finals coming, it is even more important to make sure your stress and mental health are under control.

Note: If you are thinking about hurting or killing yourself, please stop and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The lifeline exists to connect individuals for 24/7 help with skilled, trained counselors in the area. There also exists a UCPD 24 hr dispatch line which can be reached at 310-825-1491.

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Places to Cool Off for Free in: Westwood

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If one thing is always certain for summer in Los Angeles, it’s that it’s hot. So what do you do if you’re in Westwood in three-digit temperature weather and need to cool off? On The Hill has got you covered for all the places in village to chill on a scorching summer day.

1.) Chilly Ribbons

Westwood’s own iteration of the popular Sawtelle shaved snow shop “Blockheads” Chilly Ribbons shaves off slices of delicious flavors into a cup from large blocks of flavored ice. Topped with fruit or other tasty treats, ordering a cup is quite the cool experience.

2.) Hammer Museum

The Hammer Museum is a perfect way to cool off while also taking in some art, best of all admission is free. The galleries provide a nice oasis away from the summer heat and if looking at paintings get boring then you can hang out in the nice shady courtyard with a icy, tangy lemonade.

3.) Movie Theaters

Catch a movie in one of Westwood’s famous theaters for a nice break from the summer heat. With a student discount, for around ten dollars you can see the latest blockbuster which will keep you cool and entertained for a few hours.

4.) Sunset Recreation

Sunset Recreation is an old favorite and for a good reason. With its shady grassy areas, sand volleyball courts and nice shimmering pool, it’s a classic to cool down. So show your bruincard, put on your swimsuit and prepare to dip in.

5.) Libraries

Libraries are the bane of existence for most students especially during finals week. But in the summer they can be quite the sweet relief. It may seem lame, but relax in one of comfortable chairs in the reading with a good book and you’ll start to see the appeal.

SoCal Beach Guide

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If there’s one image that is iconic to Southern California in the summer it is the ocean waves licking the sandy shore of the state’s numerous beaches that line the coast. Here’s a great collection of unique beaches that you can take a sunny sojourn to in this sunny season.

1.) Santa Monica

Santa Monica, the home of the famous pier and brightly lit ferris wheel that spins well into the night also is home to a great beach that is pretty close to campus. Three miles long and very well maintained by the city, the beach is home to numerous shops and restaurants and pressed juice bars that are ubiquitous to Santa Monica.

2.) Point Dume

Point Dume is a beautiful bluff that juts off from the coast into the great big blue of the pacific ocean. Bordered by Zuma Beach to the north, the point offers breathtaking views that have their apex everyday around sunset. Surfing is also a widely practiced activity and tide pools exist for the environmental explorers.

3.) Huntington Beach

The name of the stretch of sand and the city that includes it, Huntington Beach is a journey south into Orange County. Well known for its exciting swells, the beach has been nicknamed Surf City for the waves it has all year long. So zip up your wetsuit, grab your board and paddle out.

4.) Venice Beach

Venice Beach, home to the beachside skaters, performance artists, body builders and malcontents that couldn’t really make it away from the coast. The beach is nice and well maintained, but the real attraction here is the boardwalk and the people watching, so grab a slice and a cone and soak it in.

5.) Corona del Mar

Spanish for “Crown of the Sea” this is a little beach tucked away near Newport Beach, CA. Close to the huge swells of The Wedge, the beach itself is sheltered from the rough waves and has fire pits, nice facilities and clean sands to tuck your toes into.

Apps for Studying

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It’s hard to hunker down and hit the books in our modern day digital age, especially with all the distractions that pop up from our numerous LED screens. But there are actually applications that can help rather than hurt your productivity, here’s a few of the best ones.

1.) Evernote (Free)
Evernote is a great and useful tool that helps sync your work and notes across platforms. Using the app you can write notes and checklists, organize your research and study materials and have them all uploaded and saved across your devices. It’s streamlined and easy to use for the constantly connected student.

2.) Wolfram Alpha ($2.99)
This app is a bit pricy, but it’s also invaluable. Any tired math or engineering student can tell you how important a resource Wolfram Alpha was for them. The list of topics and fields that the application can help you with is immense, running the gamut from the hard sciences to humanities and music all using its cloud based computational system.

3.) RealCalc Scientific Calculator
How many times have you needed to know the logarithm of something, but just didn’t have the means to do so? Well with this scientific calculator app, the answer to your next math problem is just as close as your pants pocket. The layout and design is more akin to physical scientific calculators making it a superior product to the standard calculator app.

4.) Khan Academy
Salman Khan is a former hedge fund manager turned innovator in the field of education and pedagogy. His Khan Academy videos are clear, concise and best of all free. But the site can be a hassle to navigate through on your mobile device, luckily there’s an app for that.

5.) Studious
Studious is a scheduling app that works as a basically acts as a everything in one application for your classes. It allows you to put your schedule in your phone and silence your phone during class times and put in reminders when your test or homework is due. Plus you can save notes and your campus map in the app, just in case you ever get lost.

Summer Reading List

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Summer is a great time to kick your shoes off, dig your toes into the sand and curl up with a good book and the sound of the ocean as the soundtrack. But of course you have to know what to read, here’s a list of some great books for a variety of genres and interests that you can add to your vacation reading list.

1.) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the critically acclaimed novel bridges the gap between coming-of-age tale and oral history. In the book 13-year-old Theo Decker must deal with the accident that killed his mother and left him with the possession of a masterwork referred to in the title. In many ways the fate of the painting mirrors the person, or is it the other way around?

2.) The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Another winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this time for non-fiction, the book is an incredibly expansive and personal history with one of the most personal diseases of our times. Mukherjee, a physician and researcher who specializes in oncology, deftly moves through the biography of cancer starting with its first identification in ancient Egypt then through to treatment in the modern era and is scattered with humanity and bits of personality from Mukherjee’s career and practice.

3.) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

You’ve probably seen the movie, now read the book that inspired it. This mystery thriller, examines the marriage between Nick and Amy Dunne, a modern-day love story twisted by lust, lies and violence. On their fifth wedding anniversary Amy disappears in what looks to be suspicious circumstances, leaving Nick as the primary suspect. Nick seems oddly unconcerned about his wife’s disappearance, but could he have killed her? The novel leaves you guessing and looking for answers.

4.) Dog Songs by Mary Oliver

A book of poetry about dogs? How can this be good? Well when it comes from one of America’s most beloved contemporary poets, it is an instant classic. Renowned for being able to capture the interplay between nature and humanity in her verse, Oliver turns her pen to the relationship between man and man’s-best-friend. Perfect for any puppy, or poetry lover, in your life.

5.) Bossypants by Tina Fey

This book came out a couple of years ago, but is still required reading for anyone who wants to go into a creative field, or really any field. Fey, known for her work on Saturday Night Live, and the hit sitcom 30 Rock, opens up her life and out spills stories from her childhood in Pennsylvania, her college days in Virginia, her membership in the improv group The Second City and her current overly hyphenated career as a producer-writer-actress-mother-comedian. Both heartbreakingly funny and breathtakingly honest, Bossypants is able to inspire and entertain without being preachy or trite in only a way that Fey can.