A few ways to kill an hour at UNO

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By Josh Bashara

Try as we might, our classes won’t always be as chronologically cohesive as we’d like them to be. It’s pretty much a given that at least once a semester you’ll have an hour or so to kill between class.

Of course, studying is an obvious (and responsible) way to fill the void, although it is not very entertaining or stress relieving. Sometimes schoolwork isn’t an option if there’s a lull in your workload. For those times when you choose not to hit the books, distraction is only a stone’s throw away.

The food court, located on the upper level of the Milo Bail Student Center, is the social epicenter of campus. Almost everyone finds him or herself there at some point during the day, either for a quick snack or just to sit down and chill with friends. A myriad of different types of cuisine are available if you’re hungry, with deck-style seating available outside overlooking the MBSC plaza.

“One of my favorite pastimes is to hang out on the balcony and look down for hot chicks,” sophomore Cory Kinman says.

If you’re feeling a little lighthearted, try out the student center game room, located next to the information desk. Pool tables, video games and pinball are available for your enjoyment; change machines for games are also available, with an ATM right outside.

The Fireside Lounge, also located in the student center, provides a nice atmosphere to casually socialize or study, especially during brisk winter days. It’s also a popular spot for students to catch a quick nap.

“This is where I like to sleep when I’m tired,” says Melissa Harvey, a junior.

If the Fireside Lounge doesn’t lull you into dreamland, there’s always other places to find.

“I go to sleep upstairs, because there’s couches up there,” says senior Nick Benton, referring to the upper level of the student center.

A word of advice though: the student center is not always the quietest place to study during the early afternoon.

If the great outdoors is more your speed, don’t think it’s not an option for between class rendezvous.

Outside activities can be enjoyed year-round at UNO. During the spring, summer and early fall, students can be found tossing around footballs, Frisbees and the occasional freshman (just kidding). Go outside and enjoy the weather — play tag or hide-and — you might as well regress a little to your childhood to give yourself a break from those 15-hour semesters. When it’s cold and snowy out, go build a snowman. Just watch out for an occasional snowball whizzing past your head.

If all this isn’t able to hold your 10-second attention span, you can hop in your car and look for fun off campus. One major drawback to leaving campus between classes is that you will have to relinquish your parking stall. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to return, because you might spend 15 minutes looking for another one of the coveted and rare UNO parking spots when you get back.

Family Fun Center, Omaha’s largest arcade, is only a couple blocks west of UNO on Dodge Street. During the afternoons, the arcade is fairly empty, so you’ll have place pretty much all to yourself. It’s the perfect place to blow five bucks and an hour.

Practically next door lies Wherehouse Music and Kinko’s, where you can either pick up the some CDs or get some last-minute printing and copying done.

Only a couple more blocks up the street is Borders at 72nd and Dodge streets. A great place to find a magazine or that new book or DVD that just came out, Borders is also a great place to study and have a bite to eat. If Borders doesn’t clean out all your cash, the Crossroads Mall is right across the street for all your shopping needs. Think of it: all of your holiday shopping can be done between classes.

A hearty array of fast food joints and restaurants also lie on Dodge Street between 72nd and 84th streets. If you’re of legal age and get the craving for an afternoon beer, The Olive Garden keeps a well-stocked, comfortable bar and cafe.

If all these things to do at UNO can’t keep you occupied the entire year, then it may be time to consider low dosages of Ritalin.

If the choices get overwhelming, just remember the three basic essentials, says senior Lindsay Besaw: “There’s pool, there’s video games and there’s bullsh*tting with your friends, but you can’t bullsh*t too long otherwise you won’t go to class.”

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