Gamecock Guide 2018: What to do when there’s nothing to do

The Ladiga Trail is Alabama's premiere rails-to-trails project. It wanders 33 miles through the countryside of Calhoun and Cleburne counties and it connects the municipalities of Piedmont, Jacksonville, Weaver and Anniston.
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The Chief Ladiga Trail runs through Jacksonville and provides an excellent spot for running, biking, walking a pet, or just admiring nature. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

Daniel Mayes, Editor-in-Chief

College is a serious learning environment, and you’re here to get an education and in no way take part in any extra-curricular shenanigans that will detract from that.

(At least that’s what you’ve been telling your parents).

College is, after all, about the education, but you’ll have your fair share of down time between classes and on weekends, and, although Jacksonville is not a huge, sprawling metropolis by college town standards, there’s still plenty to do to keep you busy, or full, or entertained, or even fit when you aren’t in the classroom.

If you’re like me, your primary form of entertainment is eating, so check out page ? for a full breakdown of the dining choices in on and off campus in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas.

When all those calories have you feeling guilty, or you’re a health nut, or you want to get some #bucketz, there are several fitness options around town to keep you going. Stephenson Hall is JSU’s on-campus gymnasium, and it’s got a full-on weight room, basketball courts, treadmills and other cardio equipment, and much more.

Jacksonville is also home to a portion of the Chief Ladiga Trail, which runs from the Georgia-Alabama state line all the way through Jacksonville before reaching its end just outside of Weaver. The trail is paved and relatively flat, making it great for biking or your morning run.

There’s plenty of nature to be seen in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas, including Chimney Peak, which is more commonly known as “The Mountain” by JSU students. “The Mountain” can be reached by following Mountain Street (convenient), and it offers some incredible views. It’s evolved into sort of a rite of passage for JSU students to make the trip to see the views at sunset.

The Anniston Museum of Natural History is also located just a short distance away and contains information and dioramas that tell you all you’d ever want to know about the natural world.

When your favorite movie is finally released or you need a failsafe first date destination, you’re out of luck, Jacksonville does not have a movie theater. There are theaters located about 30 minutes in either direction in Oxford and Gadsden.

Each theater is located at a mall as well, giving you plenty of shopping options (or shoptions, as the cool kids* call it). For your less exciting but more essential shopping needs, there’s a Walmart and Johnson’s in Jacksonville for you to stock up on Ramen Noodles or frozen meals for when you just don’t want to leave the comfy confines of your freshman dorm.

Whether you are involved in an organization that requires you to complete service projects, or you just feel in a giving mood, there’s a Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club that’s always looking for volunteers, and the First United Methodist Church has a “Serving Table” once a month where they give out free meals to the needy.

Jacksonville may not appear to have too much to do at first glance, but you’ll find there’s plenty to keep you relaxed when you’re not in the classroom.

*In this scenario, I am considered the “cool kids”

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