Beat the summer sun
Pools one way to stay cool
Published: Monday, June 25, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07
Beating the summer sun outdoors might seem like
an impossible task, but there’s one way to the odds: find the nearest body of water and jump in.
Options for aquatic activities aren’t exactly infinite, but they are available. Chief among them is a seasonal standby that no lazy summer day would be complete without — the pool.
There are a number of opportunities for a quick dip in the Bryan/College Station area, though it differs in accessibility and pricing.
The option closest to campus is the student Recreation Center, which offers indoor and outdoor pools. The one you choose will likely depend on what kind of swimming you want to do. Students making a point of getting in shape during the break should stick to the facility’s indoor pool, which is built to Olympic standards and is divided into lanes perfect for showing off your inner Michael Phelps. Those looking to just relax should stick to the outdoor pool, which features perks like an underwater seating area and a hot tub. The Rec is also one of the cheapest swimming options in town, as it’s free for any student enrolled in one or more hours at the university.
“I swim at the Rec pool once a week, and sometimes apartment pools when I find them,” said senior education major Kurt Johnson.
Of course not everyone wants to come to campus to swim or lie by the pool. For those who’d rather stay closer to home or desire a feeling of exclusivity many apartment complexes offer pools of some sort — though it can get crowded during peak pool season. While some apartment pools offer features comparable to that of the Rec, crowding and privacy concerns often result in a complex limiting access to its pools to residents and it guests.
“We always have a rule that the pool is only for residents and their guests,” junior agribusiness major Cody Pearson said. “But we enforce it more strictly during times when it tends to get the most crowded.”
Pearson works as a community associate at The Zone, a student apartment complex.
“We have a very big pool area, but we try to keep it for residents only so the people who live here get what they pay for,” Pearson said.
For another alternative, College Station and Bryan both offer multiple public pools. Each one is different, but the admission is relatively cheap across the board — $2 to $6 per person depending on the facility. The pools’ hours vary from day to day and can be found on each city’s websites.
If you’re looking for a way to cool off in the area that doesn’t involve chlorine, there are other options, but they involve either a bit of a drive or spending a little more money.
One such choice is Lake Bryan, a small reservoir 5 miles west of Bryan. The man-made lake is a popular weekend destination, thanks in part to its healthy stock of sport fish and the potential for activities like boating and water-skiing.
Lake Bryan is also the home of some of A&M’s outdoor sports teams, including the sailing team and club, the biking and rowing teams.
“Lake Bryan is small, but it can be a cool place,” said senior health education major and sailing team member Kerry Pelton. “I enjoy it the most when I go out with the team during the week when it’s quiet and more personal. It gets pretty crowded on the weekends.”
Finally, for those who like their outside entertainment on the quirky side, consider springing cash on a water gun or Slip-and-Slide at a toy store and putting them to use. A tarp and hose is a perfectly acceptable and cost-effective substitute for a conventional Slip-and-Slide.
One might find that sliding headfirst into a face full of grass is a much more fun way to beat the heat than sitting and watching “How I Met Your Mother” for the fourteenth time.