Column: a student’s perspective of Shawnee

Column by Rebekah McPheeters

While it may only be March, most students are waiting for the next three months to pass quickly. During Spring Break and after finals in May, you’ll have all the time in the world to go on all the adventures you’ve been planning, right?


In reality, most students are caught up with other plans, forgetting all the things you promised to do. For many students, you will be off starting new jobs or packing to go on the trip you’ve been planning.

Every once and a while, school becomes overwhelming. Three exams in five days, two essays next week, a group project no one will meet for and 50 more pages of reading tonight becomes typical. If I have one word of advice for less experienced students, it’s this: take some time to relax. Although naps and Netflix are great, there are some other ways to take a break.

We’ve all heard people tell us that it is important to relax and de-stress. As a less-experienced student, I interpreted that advice as a pass to binge watch some of my favorite shows. After a while though, I stress out even more than before I tried to “relax.”

Instead, I want to advise you to take time to constructively relax. Block out a couple hours, leave your room and go do something amazing. Maybe today you can paint something wonderful, organize a pick-up basketball game, or finish crocheting that scarf. Here’s another idea: get off campus.

Now, college students, I know you don’t have any extra gas money to go to Oklahoma City. You may be thinking there’s nothing to do in Shawnee. Actually, there are some neat places to visit and here is where I can help you out. These are five fun things I love to do in Shawnee.

Citizen Pottawatomi Nation Eagle Aviary

Did you know that you can see rescued eagles right here in Shawnee? In fact, you can visit eagles at the Citizen Pottawatomie Nation Eagle Aviary. The eagles were injured in the wild and rehabilitated in the aviary. If you need time to enjoy a unique part of nature, this is one place to do it.

Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art

One of my favorite places to go is the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art on St. Gregory’s campus. The art and cultural artifacts are still amazing, and there is always something new to see.

Did you know that the Mabee-Gerrer Museum is home to the only mummy in Oklahoma? Grab some friends and go visit Tutu, our local Egyptian mummy! If you need a break from campus, musing over the art can be a way to travel back in history or to new and different cultures.

Shawnee Twin Lakes

Spring is on the way, meaning that the weather is going to be beautiful. Grab your hammock and a good book and head out to Shawnee Twin Lakes for some good down time. Spending time outside can lower your stress level and help keep all that studying in perspective.

Shopping Downtown

Perhaps you’ll take a trip to downtown Shawnee instead, exploring the antique stores and thrift shops. Next time you need some time to relax, spend it exploring what’s around you.

Local Restaurants

Grab some friends to take a dinner break with and try a new restaurant around town. Some of my favorite local restaurants are Van’s Pig Stand, Hamburger King and Shawnee Pho. They’re all affordable on a college budget and really delicious. Shawnee also has many local restaurants like Paul’s Place, Daliyah’s Greek House and the Farmhouse Table that you can try.

I know studying seems overwhelming. Don’t forget that your time at college is unique, so enjoy every day you can. Get out of your dorm room, find an adventure and take a break.


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