By Brandon Garcia and Kinsey Weir
Each spring semester, as final projects and papers begin piling up, there’s one bright spot most students look forward to: summer.
For some, it’s a chance to relax and take a vacation from the constant stress of a regular semester.
For others, it’s a chance to earn some extra money or get ahead with extra classes.
Summer courses can allow students to make up classes they may have dropped or take classes they need to get ahead or just graduate on time.
“I’m taking classes in the summer to get them out of the way,” said Caleb Hollabaugh, a civil engineering major. “And the classes are shorter, so bonus.”
Many students choose to skip the summer semester and work instead, allowing them to earn extra money without also worrying about assignments.
Amarillo College provides resources to help students find and apply for jobs at the Career and Employment Services Center in 110 Lynn Library on the Washington Street Campus.
Summer break also gives students a chance to do just that – take a break.
“There is nothing to do,” often is repeated in Amarillo, but a moment looking can provide a wide assortment of opportunities for fun and excitement.
“I play soccer, I cook out, travel and spend a lot of time outdoors,” said general studies major Gumesindo Rendon.
Soccer isn’t the only sport played during the summer. The city of Amarillo parks and recreation department provides several areas to play regular and sand volleyball and softball and hosts league play throughout the break.
There also are hundreds of basketball and tennis courts, areas for Frisbee golf, pools for swimming and miles and miles of running trails.
“I run and swim in my free time,” said chemistry major Cutter Love.
“I like to go out with my family and hike either in Palo Duro Canyon or out of state.”
PDC is the second-largest canyon in the United States – it’s even nicknamed “the Grand Canyon of Texas.”
Besides hiking, camping, horseback riding and zip-lining, the canyon is the site for several events, such as the world-renowned musical, Texas, and “24 Hours in the Canyon,” an annual fundraiser for cancer research.
Once the sun starts to set, many head to Southwest Sixth Avenue, known locally as Sixth Street, for the line of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and local and traveling musicians.
One night can include a Black Mamba coffee from The 806, Tamara’s Green Chili Cheeseburger at the Golden Light Café and Cantina, a couple of scoops of pistachio gelato at Cowboy Gelato and then drinks and dancing at Leftwoods.
“I go to clubs and concerts in the summer,” said sociology major Keytan Callery.
There also are activities for students who want something a little more family-friendly.
Sports World Family Fun Center offers mini-golf, go-kart racing and batting cages.
Thompson Park is home to the Amarillo Zoo and Wonderland Amusement Park.
The Amarillo Little Theatre and Lone Star Ballet stage shows throughout the summer, while a night at the Tascosa Drive-in lets patrons get comfortable in their own vehicles to enjoy a double feature.
For more information about summer events and activities in Amarillo, check out www.visitamarillo.com.