By: Angelica Maldonado
(You, too, can be as happy as this laughing salad woman)
All year long we Pratt students slave diligently over portfolio reviews, term papers, final exams, critiques, job interviews, etc. Besides around 18 hours of class each week, there are countless hours of studying, honing our respective skills, and – most importantly – stressing. Eventually, sleepless nights and stressful mornings catch up to us and by the time the last day of school rolls around we just want to SLEEP. It’s a great idea to go into a coma for a few days or so, but once you arise from the dead here are some fun (and cheap!) ideas to de-stress and rejuvenate yourself if you’re staying in New York City:
1. Get yourself a mani-pedi! Yes, this even applies to guys. You’d be surprised how wonderful it feels to get groomed, massaged, and pampered after a year of torturing your hands (i.e. cutting yourself with an Exacto blade). Right on Myrtle Ave. is the Polish Bar where mani-pedis can cost you anywhere from $35 to $100, not including tip. If you’re on a budget, don’t be afraid to go into any one of the numerous not-so-fancy salons in our neighborhood. These salons have decent service, but if you’re skeeved out, bring your own nail kit (pumice stone, cuticle cutter, file, etc.). I’m a regular at Mega Nails and Spa on 383 Myrtle Ave. It’s right by Walgreens and a mani-pedi will only set you back $18!
2. Go for a walk in the park! Pratt is situated in the lovely Clinton Hill-Fort Greene area and we’re only a few blocks away from Fort Greene Park. If you’ve been there a million times (like I have), maybe a change of scenery would be a good idea. Despite living in a concrete jungle, NYC has a good assortment of beautiful parks to walk through. Central Park is a classic go-to, with over 843 acres to explore. There’s nothing better than rowboating in Central Park with your significant other, or even a good friend. Other great places to relax and bond with nature are Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (free for Pratt students!), Fort Tryon Park, and the Noguchi Museum.
3. Go to the beach! Although New York City isn’t exactly renowned for our beaches, and some of them may appear downright scary, you’d be pleasantly surprised how rejuvenating a bit of sun and sand can be. Coney Island is one of my favorites, although it can be ridiculously packed at times. The water is a bit questionable so I’d suggest going there mainly for sunbathing, walking along the boardwalk (get some classic Nathan’s hot dogs while you’re there), and going to the amusement park. Brighton Beach also isn’t too bad, and you can buy anything from ice cold Coronas to corn-on-the-cob to cotton candy from peddlers right on the beach. If you’d prefer something artificial with more attractions, check out Water Taxi Beach on Governor’s Island. Don’t forget your sun block!
4. Treat yourself to a spa day! Although going to an actual spa can cost you a pretty penny, why not grab some materials and do it yourself? Head over to Walgreens, or even the dollar store, and stock up on spa essentials. For a full head-to-toe spa experience, take a warm shower and use a sugar scrub to slough off dead skin cells. Lavish your skin with a sumptuous body cream. Microwave a damp washcloth for 15 seconds and put it on your face to open up pores, then follow by using a clay mask. Light some candles (if you live off-campus!) and meditate!
Going to Pratt can have detrimental effects on our body, mind, and soul but hopefully these steps will help you replenish to successfully tackle another school year!