With midterms over for the lucky and midterms still to come for the unfortunate, fall break provides time for students to relax after all of their hard work (or to enjoy the last few moments of freedom before resigning to the Woodruff Library for the next few weeks). Considering the lack of food options on campus and the desire to sleep in your own bed and see your pets at home, it may seem less than ideal to stay on campus over break. However, Atlanta has a lot to offer. While the students going home will spend their time with family, friends and a nice home-cooked meal, the students staying on campus can embrace their independence and explore the city without spending money on a plane ticket to fly home. Here are three categories of fall break activities – the productive, the fun and the realistic.

 The Productive (What You Should Do)

With only two days added on to the weekend, fall break will be over quicker than you think. The time off from school gives you the perfect opportunity to do all of the things you say you never have time for, including, but not limited to, reading a book (particularly one you tell everyone you have “read”), cleaning your room, learning to cook and doing your work that you are either behind on or is due after the break. While these may not sound fun or relaxing, your hard work now will pay off later.

 The Fun (What You Can Do)

Atlanta is an exciting city, and there is much to see and explore, which can range from the stereotypical tourist attractions to the activities locals partake in. Now is the perfect time to be a tourist. During their time at Emory, everyone should hike up Stone Mountain (the term, “hike,” is a bit of an overstatement) and visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden, where you can Instagram a lot of photos so your friends will think you are a professional photographer. Other mandatory excursions include seeing all of the amazing aquatic creatures at the Georgia Aquarium and, if you aren’t too much of a broke college student to buy a ticket and embrace Atlanta’s love for Coca-Cola, visit the World of Coke museum and drink every variation of soft drinks there is.

Once you get the previously listed activities checked off your “I go to college in Atlanta” bucket list, you can engage in more local traditions. If you want to feel like an educated person and claim that you did something intellectual over your break, you can either go visit the Carlos Museum on Emory’s campus for free, or you can go to the High Museum of Art that has exhibitions ranging from African art to Anglo-American portraits from the Revolution. If you are looking to just relax and take in some lovely fresh air while the weather is perfect, Lullwater Park is right here on campus. You can also venture to Piedmont Park to have a picnic or play a game of Frisbee. Lastly, if you want to be like a true Atlanta and Georgia local, you should “shoot the hooch,” which is the somewhat dirty sounding way of telling people you are going to raft, kayak or canoe down the Chattahoochee River.

 The Realistic (What You Will Do)

If we are being honest, you probably will not end up doing any of the great ideas listed above, and that is okay. Most people staying on campus will be complaining about the lack of places to get food and turn into expert ramen chefs by the end of the break. The absence of classes gives students the perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep between their heavy Netflix binging sessions. Just remember to call your parents at some point.

– By Hayley Silverstein