The tanner’s guide to pool-side survival

“Is someone using that lounge chair?” How many times have we asked or been asked this infamous question on a 90-degree Friday afternoon at the University Center swimming pool? With summer ending and classes starting up again, the desire for sustaining tan lines is on every student’s mind. This means the pool is going to be as crowded as ever, and the competition is expected to be at an all-time high for a prime tanning spot. Let the races begin!

Although I completely understand the comfortableness and convenience of your own personal lounge chair for the afternoon, the ruthless tactics I see going on are a little out of hand.

First, there is the “she’s on her way” excuse. Sometimes yes, a friend is a short five minutes away. However, that reserved chair has remained solo for up to two hours! And, to make matters worse, during crucial tanning hours (11 a.m.-2 p.m.)!

Then, there is the “stake-out”. Here’s how it works: You linger near someone who’s gathering their belongings and the second they step up, you pounce like a tiger to claim your territory. It’s every man for themselves out there.

Because the student-to-lounge chair ratio is roughly 5:1, the University should do the obvious, add more chairs. New chairs would not only decrease the cut-throat chase, but also replace the broken ones that collapse mid-tan.

Keep the following tips in mind and your pool outing will be much more enjoyable:

  1. Avoid peak days (Fridays and Saturdays). Otherwise, be prepared to lie on the ground or bleachers.
  2. Arrive promptly at 11 a.m. when the pool opens because most people will be in class.
  3. The north and west sides provide maximum sunshine as the day progresses because the sun sets in the west.
  4. Keep in mind “Cram Tan” week is right before Winter Break! Everyone wants to show off their year-round tan to their friends at schools with actual seasons.
  5. If you’re one of those diving board enthusiasts, avoid swim and dive practice- lifeguards won’t let you in the deep end.
  6. To avoid sunglasses’ tan lines, opt for a hat instead. It’ll protect your face but will still provide even sun exposure.

Claire Miller is a sophomore majoring in sports administration. She may be contacted at