When I announced to my friends and family that I was packing up my life in Raleigh and moving to Buies Creek to start pharmacy school at Campbell the first thing they said was, “where in the world is that?!” Not many people are familiar with the part of Harnett County I’ve grown to call home but to me it is perfect in so many ways and the fact that it is situated in a rural area is one of the reasons I chose to attend Campbell. I am a current P1 student and I spent last year getting my Masters of Public Health as part of one of the many dual degree options that Campbell offers its pharmacy students. That being said, I’ve had a whole year and a half to explore Harnett County and discover its hidden gems.
As a pharmacy student the “work-life balance” can be really hard. As one of our professors told us earlier this semester, “Remember to slice a piece of your life for yourself!” It is so easy to get caught up studying night after night and it is crucial for your mental health to spend time doing things that you enjoy to relieve stress. For me, this can be boiled down to two things: being outside and eating. In this post I hope to give you some insight into a few places that Harnett County has to offer its budding, stressed, sleep-deprived, pharmacy students.
Eating Experience #1: Sunni Skies. For anyone at all familiar with Harnett County or Campbell you have probably been here at least once this week and you probably knew this was going to be one of the places mentioned. But, I had to say it for all the people reading not familiar with the area. Sunni Skies is an ice cream place in Angier (about a 10 minute drive from campus) that has over 90 flavors of ice cream. They were even featured on Food Network for the making of their “Cold Sweat” ice cream which has ghost peppers and habaneros in it. I steer clear of that one since I can’t even handle medium salsa. My personal favorite is oatmeal cookie but I’ve never had a flavor I didn’t like and there are so many to choose from I will probably graduate from pharmacy school before I can try them all! Ask any Campbell student or resident of Harnett County and they can point you in the direction of Sunni Skies! It’s the perfect place for an impromptu study break!
Here is a link to a youtube video of the Food Network episode featuring Sunni Skies! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8oy_zYRTZ0
Eating Experience #2: Tacos Oaxaca. Located in Lillington (about 10 minutes from campus) this restaurant, affectionately called the “taco trailer” in casual conversation, has authentic Mexican food and a great outside eating area. They only take cash unless your order is over $10 so make sure to come hungry or bring cash with you! They have a variety of different dishes that are easily grabbed to go on your way home from class for dinner or, as I mentioned, they have a nice patio area where you can sit and eat with friends. Taking the time to eat with friends is a great way to relax because, hey, you have to eat anyway you might as well relieve stress at the same time!
Outside Activity #1: Raven Rock State Park. Located in Lillington about 20 minutes from campus is a beautiful state park with many different hiking trails and picnic areas. There are many different routes of varying lengths to choose from so whether you’re in for a 5 mile hike or want to stick to around 1 there is a trail for you! I have a dog so our favorite one is the Little Creek trail where she can get in the water and cool off (round trip around 3 miles). Raven Rock is an awesome place that I use to just get away from life for a while and reconnect with myself. It is also a great place for group outings or to take walks with friends. It’s also useful for walking off the ice cream and tacos you may have eaten earlier in the day.
Outside Activity #2: Dunn-Erwin Rail Trail. Located, as you might’ve guessed, between Dunn and Erwin (~15 minutes from campus) the Rail Trail is exactly what it sounds like. The path that takes you from Dunn to Erwin or Erwin to Dunn (depending on where you start) was the site of an old railroad. It’s flat all the way making it great for all types of activities including biking, walking, or running. The entire trail is about 5 miles long one way so I usually walk a certain number of miles and then walk back. It is nicely labeled with mile markers as you go along telling you where you are along the trail. This is one of my favorite places to walk my dog because it takes you by a lot of farmland out in the country and is another way to escape from the studying life!
Well, there you have it. These are a few places I have found that help me relax when school gets to be too much. Even though we don’t have a greenway park system that you can find in suburban areas or big chain restaurants of the city you can still find plenty of things to do as a student in Buies Creek and the surrounding area to relieve stress! I hope on your next visit to campus you take the time to visit one of these places and “slice a piece of your life for yourself!”
-Tess Wells (P1)