Procrastination is good – in moderation. Some students fail to realize that procrastination can relieve stress and aid studying. In fact, small study breaks may provide an extra push that could translate into a carefree break rather than a long ride home spent contemplating excuses to explain lackluster grades to parents.

Studying takes on an entirely new definition prior to finals week, especially at Cal Poly. Students study for hours on end, frantically attempting to cover the material they missed throughout the quarter.

Thankfully, from a run around the track to playing a round of golf on Wii Sports, there are plenty ways to give the mind a break. Close your book, put that highlighter down – here are 10 30-minute study break ideas that can add some variety to finals week.

Create art at the Craft Center

Head to the University Union across from Poly Escapes to throw a pot, make jewelry or customize a skateboard deck. The Craft Center offers classes that teach anything from surfboard shaping to jewerly-making.

Students take periodic breaks throughout the week to systematically work on projects, Cal Poly civil engineering sophomore Kenny Sing said, who recently made a T-shirt at the Craft Center using bleach and a stencil. The Craft Center is also an excellent spot to socialize, he added.

“If I have half an hour between classes I don’t go home, I come here,” Sing said. “It’s a good place to learn from other people who are willing to share their ideas.”

The Craft Center provides a relaxed environment with the resources and space to explore one’s creativity. A day pass costs $2. It is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m on Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 12:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Peruse Facebook or YouTube

It’s just too easy. In fact, most students probably have the social networking site at the top of their Bookmarks or Favorites list. Discovering the recent gossip, cyber-stalking an ex or catching up with an old friend is just a click away via Facebook.

Cal Poly materials engineering sophomore Kyle Reilly said he falls victim to Facebook especially when he is writing an essay or studying on the computer.

“I check Facebook about every two minutes when I study,” said Cal Poly animal science senior Allison Yim.

Curious to find out what all the talk is about regarding that jager bomb guy or that kid who dances around with a light saber? Then YouTube is the place for you. YouTube offers millions of streaming videos that can add some much needed laughter to those arduous study sessions.

Visit the Cal Poly arboretum

Need to get away from the computer? The Leaning Pine arboretum, tucked away in the north end of campus at the Environmental Horticultural Science unit on Via Carta, highlights the world’s five mediterranean climate regions: Australia, California, Chile, the Mediterranean basin and South Africa. The arboretum features a variety of trees, shrubs and other landscape plants; it’s ideal for a leisurely stroll or just a place to stop and think.

Students can enjoy self-guided tours using the Garden Walk guide that follows numbered stops throughout the gardens.

Climb the Poly Escapes rock wall

Scaling the state-of-the-art Climbing Wall outside Poly Escapes will provide an adrenaline-rush that is tough to find inside a textbook. Experience the thrill of mountain climbing without risking your safety.

Access is free to Cal Poly students and Poly Escapes provides shoes, a harness and a helmet. It is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Visit the Mustang Lanes

Want to bowl a frame or hustle some amateurs at pool? Just down the way from Poly Escapes in the UU is San Luis Obispo’s only bowling alley, Mustang Lanes, which provides 10 bowling lanes, arcade games and eight full-size pool tables.

If you are looking for a late-night thrill, try cosmic bowling on Saturday nights.

The Mustang Lanes are open every day from early morning to late in the evening.

Go to a park

Looking to tap into your inner child? Head over to a local park and swing like you used to in the good ol’ days.

“I like to go to the park (off Tank Farm Road) and play on the swings,” Cal Poly chemistry sophomore Anthea Sekfali said.

Throw a Frisbee around or play some catch until you are ready to hit the books.

Visit the Santa Rosa park off of California Highway 1 and Oak Street or the El Chorro Regional Park across from Cuesta College.

Take a Recreation Center class

Exercise can help relieve stress during the crunch of finals. Recreation Center classes such as Hip-Hop, Yoga and Pilates allow participants to physically challenge themselves in a friendly environment.

Cal Poly English junior Kellen Dickinson said classes help her be more productive and are good social outlets.

Students and faculty can purchase $5 day passes for exercise classes.

Play ping pong in the dorms

Need a reason to crash the dorms? Make friends with a dorm-residing freshman or a resident advisor and partake in a game of ping pong.

Ping ping may not be the most athletic sport, but it provides an excellent distraction from studying. It is a game anyone can pick up and play. Not only will ping pong satisfy a person’s competitive drive, it will ensure bragging rights to the victor as well.

Take advantage of Recreation Center facilities

Take a break from studying and head to the Recreation Center to test your athletic skill. Stare at yourself in the mirror as you curl dumbbells in the gym, shoot some hoops or play some beach volleyball. Or take your skills to the racquetball courts, where quick reflexes can make the difference between a narrow miss or a gigantic circular welt courtesy of your competitor.

Head outside the gym dressed in goggles and a cap and do your best imitation of Michael Phelps as you tear down the lanes in the outdoor pool. Or use the pool as a basketball court and play some water basketball.

Recreation Center facilities are free to anyone with a PolyCard.

Hike Bishop Peak or the “P”

Put on some boots and scale Bishop Peak, located on Highland Drive past the residential area. Students can bike, rock climb, hike or run as they observe the wildlife and indigenous vegetation. Bishop Peak rises to 1,456 feet above sea level and was named because it was thought to resemble a Bishop’s miter.

The “P,” behind the residence halls, features two main trails – one significantly steeper than the other – and is popular among students for day and night hikes.

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