Amid midterms, clinicals, and performances, students at Pensacola Christian College have different ways of stepping aside from the books. For some, that involves a visit to the Sports Center or the Commons. For others, it’s attending Student Outings and enjoying off-campus excursions for an affordable price.
Each semester, the Student Activities Office plans several optional outings that students can choose. The office researches off-campus venues and finds locations that will give students ways to unwind. This semester’s choices included trips to an aquarium, a large outlet mall, and even an amusement park.
Felisha Hodge (Sr., SC) eagerly signed up for several of the outings this year. She has enjoyed going on many off-campus trips throughout her college experience. From the serenity of Bellingrath Gardens to the exhilaration of an Ice Flyers hockey game, Felisha loved getting her mind off homework on the weekends. “I’ve made so many great memories going to places I’ve never been before and spending time with great friends,” she said.
One of the outings Felisha went on this semester was a trip to the Gulfarium. While she’s a veteran of Student Outings, this aquatic treasure was a new experience. Dolphins were swimming in an enormous two-story tank. “Seeing the trainers interact with the sea life was truly a treat,” Felisha said. “I’d like my other friends to see the dolphin show, too!”
One week after the Gulfarium outing, another group of students piled into buses and rode to Tanger Outlets, a 100-store shopping mall in Foley, Alabama. Sophomore Ellie Kickbush (PA) went on the outing with her boyfriend and two close friends. “I noticed several stores when we arrived that I wanted to go into,” she said. It didn’t take Ellie long to discover the bookstore and get lost between shelves and pages. Without a car, she rarely gets an opportunity to indulge in her favorite hobby. “This experience was THE BEST I have ever had at PCC,” Ellie said. Even after the ride back to campus, she couldn’t contain her excitement. “I immediately went back to my room and told my roommates we should go on an outing together.”
Early in March, students explored The Track, a family amusement park in Gulf Shores, Alabama. When sign-ups opened, Isaac Cuevas (Fr., NC) registered to go with his girlfriend, brother, and some other friends. With fresh scenery, many amusement park rides, and six unique go-kart tracks, the change of pace was welcome. For an afternoon, Isaac left his assignments in the dust as he sped around the large courses. His favorite track was Wild Woody, a three-and-a-half-story elevated wooden track. “Every second on the track was invigorating!” he said. “It had sharp turns, tall hills [to climb], and steep downhills. I enjoyed every moment!”
Isaac’s brother David Cuevas (Jr., NC) also enjoyed his experience. While other activities were available, David had his eyes on one thing, “All I did was race go-karts—the whole reason I went!” He and his brother raced around each of the tracks several times with their friends. When finished, the group went to the park store to get popcorn and nachos. “It is so important to go with friends,” David said. “That’s the way to have lots of fun!”
Whether strolling around a large outlet mall with friends or zipping through hairpin turns, Student Outings provide time to relax on weekends away from homework. “I’m so happy my friends convinced me to go, because it was a good amount of time for only $15,” David said. “We will always remember the fun we had and the memories we made.”