Every student at Elon University is familiar with the concept of the “Elon bubble” and all that it entails — the idea that students at this university find themselves sticking around on the weekends, attending the same parties, having breakfast at the same dining hall and going to bed at the same time Sunday night. Come Monday, they do the whole monotonous week again.

But here’s a shocker — you don’t have to be a victim of the same routine time and time again. There are ways to break the bubble and wander beyond it, so that you can really see what the area around the brick wall can offer to us wild, adventurous young people.

The first thing you can start with is digesting the fact that while yes, schoolwork is important, you are still a young person at a pivotal point in your life. 

You’ve heard the stories your parents told about a crazy road trip they took with their college buddies or a wild thing they stumbled upon during their college years. I fear that Elon students someday will not have the same stories to tell based on the keen resistance among students to wander outside of the bubble.

I worry that the opportunities which abound in central North Carolina are overlooked by students attending Elon. This could be due largely to our inability to see the bigger picture and realize that, while grades and friends are important, they can get more enjoyment from exploring a new place and space than attending the same mediocre fraternity day drink every Saturday afternoon. 

So, here is the less-mess, more-fun guide to breaking the bubble and seeking new experiences outside of Elon's campus.

First, and foremost, do some research. Did you know that Carowinds amusement park — home to the fifth tallest roller coaster in the world — is just two hours down the road in Charlotte? Did you know that North Carolina is home to Jockey’s Ridge, a mini-desert which is the largest active sand dune on the East Coast? 

How about the fact that Elon is about three hours away from the Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home? And, lastly, that the Reed Gold Mine, just more than an hour away, is the only underground gold mine open to the public and home to the first commercial gold find in America? Frankly, I bet you didn’t, and I didn’t either before I put in the time to do some research.

There are things to be done and sights to be seen all around you in North Carolina, and I hate to think that such a huge portion of Elon students leave college without having taken advantage of them.

And yes, I understand, a lot of times, money and lack of transportation is the problem. But it’s important to take note of the fact that most of these sites require payment for entry. And should you find a travel pal who is willing to split gas prices with you and bring a lunch for the journey, there isn’t much standing in your way.

Now, for those students who can’t seem to find a travel pal, there are ways to break the bubble of standard college life on campus and do something different than what everyone else seems to be doing. Hypeline News provides tips and tricks for students to break out of the normal routine for college students.

First, Hypeline encourages students to keep up with the news, stay engaged with the community and keep their eyes peeled for events and things going on near them. It’s always fun to attend a free community event and see how you can engage with the place you’re in. 

Next, Hypeline encourages students to be intentional with their relationships. Rather than saying "hi" to the first 20 people they pass on their way to class, students are encouraged to really stop and talk to people, asking how they’re doing and waiting to hear the reply. 

We would all benefit from stepping out of our bubble, engaging in life and actually doing things. And hell, if you hate it, no one’s stopping you from stepping back in.