Kristen Mitchell / Campus editor
Spring has finally sprung, and Oval Beach season has officially begun. It’s time for tank tops and flip-flops and fun in the sun that all comes with the college experience. But before you find the perfect tanning spot, you’re going to need a great outfit and a bag of essentials.
What to wear: Oval Beach is full of sun-kissed girls in bikinis, but finding the right bathing suit for laying out on campus is key. Keep in mind that you’re not actually at the beach, so you might want to consider something a little more modest like a bandeau top or halter-top as opposed to a triangle style. You should also think about more full-coverage options for bathing suit bottoms – you never know who might be walking by, like a cute boy or cranky professor. Consider a sundress that can be a quick and comfortable cover-up that’s completely class-time approved. A bandeau style bathing suit top will fit perfectly under any type of dress straps – plus you’ll avoid any unsightly tan lines.
Shield against the sun: Half an hour between classes might not seem like a ton of time, but hanging out in the direct sunlight for more than 20 minutes could lead to a painful sunburn. Keep a bottle of SPF 30 in your bag and do a quick spritz before you head out into the sunshine. Look for face moisturizer with SPF to protect your face from harmful rays all day. You’ll also want to invest in a good pair of sunglasses for a day on Oval Beach. Squinting in the sun is the quickest way to ensure wrinkles around your eyes that you will regret 10 years down the road. Sunglasses with UVB/UVA protection lenses are a good way to go to ensure your eyes are well-protected from any wrinkles or vision-damaging light.
What you should pack: I envy students who manage to study while enjoying the sun. I’m much more apt to read a book or magazine or simply listen to music and take a nap. Nevertheless, pack a big bag full of materials for whatever mood might strike you that day. Be sure to bring along your laptop or iPad for class-related work (or simply to peruse Pinterest), your cellphone, a book or magazine, a Frisbee or football if you’re with a friend and some extra sunscreen. You should also be sure to pack a beach towel and possibly a hat of some kind (I’m a fan of baseball caps I can thread my ponytail through).
Whichever way you choose to enjoy this warm weather, be sure to stay well-protected from the sun. Areas that are most apt for sunburn include your face (especially your nose), shoulders and chest. When you get home, take a lukewarm shower and moisturize generously to keep skin from drying out or peeling. If you think you soaked up a bit too much sun, apply aloe vera lotion to the affected areas to avoid looking like a tomato tomorrow.