JanPlan tips for first-years
While it's tempting to wake up, trek to class and crawl back into your cozy bed by noon every day during JanPlan, students on the Hill never let the lack of daylight hours get them down during this month of leisurely fun. If you find yourself going slightly stir-crazy during the upcoming month, here are a few things to keep you occupied.
1. iPlay Broomball
When the fields are covered in snow, iPlay moves indoors to the hockey rink. Get your friends together and start a broomball team. Broomball is essentially hockey without skates, and if you are worried that you have no experience or athletic ability, take comfort in the fact that no one does. All you need is a positive attitude and the ability to laugh at yourself when you fall on your butt on the ice.
2. Skiing and Snowshoeing
Have you ever explored the arboretum on campus? Did you even know that Colby has an arboretum? The area beyond Runnals Field is beautiful in the wintertime, and boasts many trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Stop by the Outing Club office during office hours (Monday-Thursday from 7-8 p.m.), pay $20 to become a member, and enjoy unlimited access to cross-country skis and snow shoes. You can also rent ice skates and go skating on Johnson Pond or get a group of friends together for a game of pond hockey (but wait for the school to announce that the ice is thick enough)!
3. Invite Your Friends
JanPlan requires you to be back on campus long before the rest of your friends from home, but instead of being jealous of their extended winter breaks, take advantage of this great opportunity to have your friends come visit you! Your workload won't be as heavy as it is during a normal semester, so you'll have plenty of time to bring them around campus, venture into the surrounding area, and show off your ability to withstand below freezing temperatures and heavy amounts of snowfall.
4. Visit Freeport
Freeport is a fun, nearby destination for a weekend day trip, as it is only an hour away and boasts many restaurants and outlet stores. Spend the morning checking out Patagonia, Ralph Lauren and Mexicali Blues, then head to Gritty McDuff's Brew Pub for some comfort food and home-brewed ale (or delicious home-brewed root beer for the under-21 set). It is also important to note that the Freeport L.L.Bean is open 24 hours...spontaneous 2 a.m. trip, anyone?
5. Inspirations Workshops
Want to learn how to cook Chinese food, juggle or ballroom dance? JanPlan Inspiration workshops offer the perfect way for you to explore new hobbies while you're not bogged down with homework. Sign-ups are going on now outside the Campus Life Office, but you'd better hurry...positions are limited and they fill up fast. Most classes are free, but it's hard to complain paying $10 for a cooking class when it's all-you-can-eat-and-carry-back-to-your-dorm. Inspirations are a great way to meet people that share your interests, and you're bound to bond even if it's only about how terrible you are at your new skills.
Although the weather outside may be frightful in January, students at the College make the most of it. Sledding down Chapel Hill is a must-have winter experience. It's free, fun and the best part is your don't have to buy a real sled to do it. Grab a bunch of friends and race each other to the bottom. If the competition really heats up, relocate to the lawn in front of Averill to have a snowball fight with intricately designed forts--please, we're in college.
7. Movies and Food
If you're looking forward to an afternoon wrapped up in a stylish Snuggie with a cup of hot cocoa, don't forget to check out Miller's movie collection. It contains everything from seasons of Sex and the City to The Godfather, so there is something for everyone if you want to have a movie-marathon on a day off. Don't forget to stock up on popcorn, soups and tea packets in town. And if you're still being asked by Grandma what you want for this holiday season, an electric water kettle will definitely help you make it through the days when it's -10oF.
If you're feeling overwhelmed about your first winter in Maine, don't worry about it! JanPlan is a much-deserved break between the stress of semesters, and you can kick back and meet some great new people. And once it gets so cold, you really can't even tell the difference between -15oF and -25oF!