The Carolinian Cure for the Summertime Blues

What are you going to do this summer?

That question seems to be the most frequently mentioned phrase around campus as the weather gets warmer, and everyone’s thoughts are turning to how they will spend their free time.

Students everywhere are pondering how they will use their free time, as well as wondering where they will work. It is no surprise that many students find themselves staying here in the beautiful mountains. Whether they are taking summer classes to get ahead or staying here to work and play, many want to know what there is to do here in the summer months.

Students on campus might find some free time to play billiards in the University Center, swim in Reid pool, enjoy the nature trail, take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or look for a job. The opportunities to get out and stay fit while enjoying nature’s beauty are limitless.

Many students find that the summer season offers a variety of jobs. While some may not be the most spectacular, it is a way to make some money. The Great Smoky Mountains Railway and local shops in Dillsboro often need employees for their busy tourist season. Santa’s Land and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino are also places that can provide summer jobs.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railway includes a stop in Bryson City, which is about a thirty-minute drive from Cullowhee, and features many shops that could offer employment.

Curious and fun-loving folk will have lots of options when looking around for employment.

For the adventure-minded and those that want to explore the great nature surrounding us, the options available are there if one just takes a little time and scouts around. The Nantahala Outdoor Center, located near Bryson City, offers rafting and kayaking trips, as well as nice restaurants to eat in after a busy day.

If you are interested in hiking, this website: provides a list of hiking trails in the area, as well as a checklist for supplies and helpful tips that you will need for your trip. It also shows a map of the trail to see how far you will travel. If you are interested in hiking with a group, contact the local chamber of commerce to see if they know of any groups. For instance, Franklin has the Nantahala Hiking club that organizes and provides day hiking trips on weekends. These are often listed in the community section of the newspaper.

This website is also helpful since it covers about 12 towns in the area, from Andrews to Waynesville, Franklin to Hendersonville, and many more. It also lists local crafts stores, and supplies a great deal of information with links to many local area chamber of commerces, local community clubs, and local libraries.

Reading the newspaper and looking for community publications are another great way to discover activities that are available during the summer. While the above are only a few suggestions, the possibilities are in fact quite numerous if you take the time to delve into the issue. Don’t be afraid to ask locals for suggestions, and visit the chamber of commerce as well as the library. These are first-hand, helpful sources. As they say, “where there’s a will, there is a way.”