2 students fight summer blues in Charleston


Solomon Toluwalase Vincent

Simon Walingo, a graduate student from Uganda, poses on his bike Monday afternoon. Walingo said he plans on spending his summer in Charleston balancing a job and an online class.

Chaela Krueger, Reporter

Charleston in the summer is not quite the ghost town some people might expect.

During the summer, students can find a number of events and activities such as community concerts or farmer’s markets to keep them occupied.

At first, Ashley Parola, a  junior biological sciences major, was not thrilled that her internship required her to live in Charleston over the summer, but she was excited to learn about fun and interesting events that go on during this time.

Much of Parola’s time will be spent balancing an internship, job and personal life.

During her internship, she will work with the chemistry department to research tumor markers and how to locate them using ultraviolet light.

“I am definitely excited and curious to research and learn about this subject,” Parola said.

She plans on exploring the parks and Lake Charleston whenever the weather is nice.

“I never had time to explore the trails by the lake during the school year, so I think that would be an interesting place to explore and get some fresh air,” Parola said.

Another event she plans on attending is the IHSA state track meet on Saturday, May 20. Parola and a few of her Eastern friends who are coming to visit are planning to cheer on their old high school teams.

After taking time to travel to Georgia and Germany, Parola said she is interested in seeing what other events may come up during the summer.

Other events students can attend around the area are the Bagelfest in Mattoon, various concerts and shows and the Coles County Fair.

Simon Walingo, a graduate student from Uganda, also plans on spending his summer in Charleston balancing a job and an online class.

He will be living off campus, but working with Housing and Dining Services primarily at Stevenson deli.

Whenever he gets tired of dining hall food, Walingo said he cooks gourmet meals with his roommate.

“It’s fun to hang around and it’s a cool experience having a job on campus,” Walingo said.

To deal with boredom Walingo will often be going to the Student Recreation Center.

Workout facilities will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

For transportation, Walingo typically rides his bike or catches a ride with his roommate if necessary. Panther shuttle services are unavailable in the summer, but will start back up when school begins.

Walingo says he misses his friends and family back home, but it would be cheaper to stay in Charleston than to go back  for the summer.

Students can find information about events happening in Charleston at http://www.charlestonillinois.org.

Chaela Krueger can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].