Summer is over, and all the Hoyas are back on the Hilltop preparing for the fall semester. But if you’re anything like me, your last three months were spent with the beautiful outdoors. Perhaps you went camping on the West Coast, decided to explore the hidden treasures in America’s heartland or did your own version of “roughing it” on the Cape. Even if you were interning in the city, maybe you snuck in some Central Park time when it wasn’t too hot.

The point is, we’re all hooked on vitamin D. But just because we’ve returned to classrooms doesn’t mean the sunglasses should collect dust in our dorm rooms. Getting outside is great both mentally and physically, so here are my suggestions for those that want to break away from Healy Lawn every once and a while.

Enjoying our beautiful early fall weather in Washington, D.C., is surprisingly easy. Although you may need to do a little tug of war with our good friend humidity, there is always that magical day about three or four weeks into school when it finally just disappears. I remember that day vividly last fall because I walked outside and wanted to start doing a happy dance. Wait, I’m not covered in sweat anymore? I don’t instantly need another shower? I was ecstatic, and I can guarantee you will be too.

While you wait for that magical day, be inspired by our alma mater and explore the Potomac; after all, we are the river’s “lovely daughter!” Cooling off while getting in some exercise presents itself in a variety of different ways. Formerly Jack’s Boathouse, the Key Bridge Boathouse is an easy five to 10 minute walk from campus. You’ll instantly want to spend the day here — the place is super cute, brightly decorated and generally just exudes the vibes of summer (or, in this case, fall) fun. The large Adirondack chairs function as a perfect chill spot for the less adventurous.

At the boathouse, you can rent kayaks, canoes or standup paddleboards. This is the closest you will ever feel to being Hawaiian at Georgetown, so soak it up while you can. The flower lei is optional, but the life jacket is not. But don’t let the fear of falling in the Potomac keep you away from these awesome forms of exercise (although I would still recommend not falling in). When I went with a group of friends last fall, everyone came back completely dry. Being out on the river beats lifting in Yates any day but lacks the commitment that, say, joining the rowing team would entail.

The Key Bridge Boathouse also offers classes and clinics if you really want to get into the techniques and specifics. Regardless, being on the water is a tranquil escape from the heat and the city.

Once it cools down a bit, another great way to explore D.C. is by bike. Those red bikes right outside the front gates? They aren’t just for awkward tourists. For a small fee, you can feel slightly silly riding around too. The bikes aren’t the smoothest ride or the lightest to lift up and down the canal steps — I’ve tried — but that doesn’t matter when the wind is in your hair and you are sailing past the monuments.

Biking is the best way to see the sights and get some exercise without breaking the bank. Most people buy the 24-hour membership, which is $7. You then get the first 30 minutes free and pay an additional variable fee for every 30-minute period after that. It gets a little complicated, but for example, a basic hour and a half costs $4.50. A plethora of paths are at your disposal. Choose canal routes if you want to navigate around pedestrians … and, if you’re feeling fearless, brave harried politicians and crazy commuters on the roads. Whatever you do, avoid rush hour on M street at all costs.

Take advantage of the sun’s rays now. You’ll be wishing you were sweaty and enjoying the sunshine when January rolls around. I’ll take a sunburn over sleet any day.

Kylie Mohr is a sophomore in the College. Healthy Hoya appears every other Friday in the guide.

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